Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ADB loans target rural stimulus

ADB loans target rural stimulus

ADB loans target rural stimulus

Deals signed include funds for financial intelligence unit.

Siem Reap
DEVELOPMENT projects worth more than US$90 million are set to give Cambodia’s economy a boost following a loan agreement signed by the government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Siem Reap late Sunday.

Minister of Finance Keat Chhon approved the deal, which will see the establishment of three projects partly funded by $65 million in ADB loans and grants.

The schemes include a $55.3 million poverty-reduction and smallholder development project, first announced in December, to help 2.5 million rural people from Kampong Cham, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap and Kampong Thom provinces.

The ADB is also providing $30.7 million in loans and grants to improve agricultural productivity. The International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD) and the government of Finland are to contribute a combined $19.1 million, and the Cambodian government is to put $5.47 million towards the project.

Another $24.5 million ADB grant is to go towards a $27.52 million vocational and technical training project to address the country’s shortage of skilled workers by training the rural unemployed and laid-off garment factory workers.

An additional $10 million ADB loan will promote economic growth and enable Cambodia to be more resilient in the face of world crises. The project includes setting up a financial intelligence unit in the National Bank of Cambodia to combat money laundering.

Keat Chhon said the three agreements were not only crucial in improving the livelihoods of the poor around the Tonle Sap basin, but also for strengthening Cambodia’s market-based financial system and private sector – which he said was the engine of economic growth.

“These three projects will help Cambodia to better respond to the global financial crisis,” ADB country director Putu Kamayana said at a press conference. “We hope that by boosting the income of poor families in rural areas, parents will be able to send their kids to school rather than having them work to supplement their family incomes.”

The bank’s new investment in Cambodia comes as Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurated a newly paved 150-kilometre road between Siem Reap and Poipet on the Thai border Monday.

It is hoped the new highway will boost tourism and trade ties with Thailand.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune