Celebrating National Day

Edgar Pang Tze Chiang from the Singapore Embassy to Cambodia.
Edgar Pang Tze Chiang from the Singapore Embassy to Cambodia.

Celebrating National Day

What is the state of bilateral relations and cooperation between Singapore and Cambodia?
Singapore and Cambodia enjoy warm and strong relations. We cooperate both bilaterally and within ASEAN. For example, there is close bilateral cooperation in fields as diverse as politics, security, economics, and social and cultural initiatives. Our broad intention is to support Cambodia’s development within our means so as to help narrow the development gap within ASEAN. We also have strong economic linkages at the private sector level. These trade and investment links are another pillar of our ties. From the ASEAN perspective, Singapore and Cambodia share a common interest in establishing an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

What is the value of trade and investment between Singapore and Cambodia?
Bilateral trade for 2012 totalled S$1.9 billion, or a 40.5% increase from the year before. This made Singapore Cambodia’s 6th largest trading partner for 2012. Singapore’s main exports to Cambodia included refined petroleum products and alcoholic beverages, while Cambodia’s main exports to Singapore were textile apparel, jewellery and precious metals. Singapore is also Cambodia’s tenth largest foreign investor with cumulative investments registering over US$732 million between 1994 and 2012.

Which are the key Singaporean businesses and companies in Cambodia?
Singapore investors are present in a variety of sectors in Cambodia, including energy, garments/textiles, tourism, aviation, shipping/logistics and agriculture. Notable Singapore companies include SilkAir and Tiger Airways (airlines), Forte Insurance, HLH (agriculture), Asia Pacific Breweries (brewery), Himawari (hotel development), Colben System (power plants), Moya Dayen (engineering), APL (logistics), Kredit (microfinance), and June Textiles and Ocean Sky Textiles (garment manufacturing). 

What are the current and ongoing government-to-government projects supported by Singapore to Cambodia?
One ongoing flagship project initiated by Singapore in 2000 to help narrow the development gap is the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.. Singapore pledged almost SGD$60 million for human resource development projects for the first five years until 2005. We then pledged about SGD$60 million more until 2011. In 2011, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced a further pledge of SGD$50 million for the next five years.

The Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) under the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the platform that we use to implement human resource development projects. For example, we have established the Cambodia-Singapore Training Centre in Phnom Penh under the SCP to provide training in areas including Public Administration, Trade and Investment, Tourism Promotion, Information Technology, Civil Aviation, Healthcare, Environment Management, Urban Planning and the English Language. Moreover, the SCP allows Cambodian government officials to visit Singapore to study our development experience. To date, more than 9,500 Cambodian government officials have received training under the Singapore Cooperation Programme.

For the education sector, how has the Singaporean government offered assistance to Cambodian students?
The Singapore Government currently offers three scholarships that are open to all students from ASEAN member countries: the ASEAN Scholarship, the Singapore Scholarship, and post-graduate scholarships by Singapore tertiary institutions. The ASEAN Scholarship is open to Cambodian students who have completed at least Grade 10. It allows qualified applicants to study in selected Singapore schools from Secondary Three up to Pre-University Two. The ASEAN Scholarship is renewable annually, subject to satisfactory academic performance. 
 
The Singapore Scholarship is for a full-time undergraduate degree courses at the Nanyang Technological University, the National University of Singapore, and the Singapore Management University. The Singapore Scholarship is open to all disciplines except Medicine, Dentistry, Architecture and Law. The Scholarship is for three or four years, depending on the discipline. Finally, several tertiary institutions like the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies also provide scholarships for post-graduate courses. All these Scholarships are awarded based on merit and open competition.

How many Singaporean nationals live and work in Cambodia? For tourism, how many Singaporeans visit Cambodia annually?
According to our estimates, approximately 500 to 700 Singaporeans work or do business in Cambodia. But this may be an underestimate because some Singaporeans do not register with the Embassy and many business people commute weekly between Phnom Penh and Singapore. As for tourists, it is estimated that more than 53,000 Singaporeans visited Cambodia in 2012.

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