Agriculture alone will not transform the Kingdom into a wealthy nation, nor allow it to develop to its full potential, said Prime Minister Hun Sen. However, in order to guarantee food security and grow rural economies, the government will continue to develop the agriculture sector.

Hun Sen was addressing nearly 20,000 workers at the Royal Group Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on May 27.

“Why does the government want to attract both domestic and foreign investment? I want to emphasise that agricultural cultivation will not make us a wealthy, developed country,” he said.

“The development of all areas of the agriculture sector will continue, in order to maintain the growth of rural economies and to provide food security. At the same time, we are working to attract investment in the industrial and services sectors,” he added.

“For almost a decade after 1979, Cambodia had very few factories. In fact, it would be a mistake to call most of them factories. For example, we referred to the Bek Chan location as a plate manufacturing factory when it was actually just a small handicraft shop. I think the only factories that were profitable were the cigarette factories,” he continued.

The premier reminded his audience that without peace, there would be no investment. Without investment, all of the workers present would be subsistence farmers on their parents’ land, earning very little money.

“For the sake of harmony in factories, there must be cooperation between factory owners and the workers, especially when it comes to settling labour disputes,” he said.

He noted that in the first four months of this year, the volume of Cambodia's exports totalled $7.3 billion, while in April alone, total export volume was $1.8 billion.