THE government will turn to China to make
up for any shortfall in foreign aid as the global financial crisis
forces Western donors to rethink their assistance to developing
nations, a senior minister said Thursday.
"We expect to get US$600 million [in aid] next year as usual because
the new [top] donor nation is China," Minister of Finance Keat Chhon
Aid from China last year, at $601 million, eclipsed the combined pledges from the rest of Cambodia's donors.
as nations struggle to keep their own economies afloat, aid budgets are
being slashed, raising alarm in many aid-dependent countries.
"They can't spend [hundreds of billions] of dollars to rescue share
markets and then forget a poor country like Cambodia," Keat Chhon said.
But Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh said if the amount of official
development aid were to plummet, it would not adversely affect the
"We hope we will weather this difficult time.... This is a chance for
Cambodia," he said, citing the Kingdom's low-end garment exports as a
cushion against a global financial slowdown.
"Cambodia has garment factories that produce cheap products," he said,
adding that these were less likely to experience a fall-off in demand
as a result of global recession.