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Book looks to nation’s future

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The book, entitled Cambodia 2014, Economic Development, mainly focuses on how Cambodia will develop over the next 20 years. Facebook

Book looks to nation’s future

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the German political advisory council and future forum, on Wednesday launched a book mainly focusing on how Cambodia will develop over the next 20 years.

Cambodia 2040, Economic Development, spans 213 pages under nine chapters.

The topics include economic development outlook, fiscal policy, industrialisation, regional economic integration, economic diplomacy relations, energy, environment and climate change and social protection systems.

The launch of the book attracted hundreds of participants from government institutions, embassies, civil society organisations and the private sector.

Discussions were held to share positive and negative scenarios and offer solutions to problems which may arise over the next 20 years.

Future Forum president Ou Virak said: “Talking about solutions for Cambodia going forward is one of the most necessary things at the present.

“Look at the history of Cambodia . . . of conflict and prosperity, which can be our lessons. But in terms of policy, we should talk about the future and find solutions for it.

“Discussion about the future is always vague, so we ask scholars and writers to think of possible scenarios that we, Cambodia, and they want to see. But they also have to think about the future if we continue with the same policies.”

Virak said the book would be a valuable source for the government, academics and citizens to study and explore different policies to create the future they want to see.

“We want them to start thinking about what is possible and better for the future. When they start to think this way, they will be motivated and start to think about how to make that future a reality,” he said.

Chapter two, which covers the economic development outlook, says the Kingdom could possibly develop into an industrial base on the back of the agricultural sector by 2040.

“Strong political will and bold reform efforts have been key to effectively address structural weaknesses to improve the investment climate, reduce business costs, enhance trade facilitation and address skills shortages.

“This has provided a conducive environment for Cambodia to strengthen its competitiveness and attract more quality foreign direct investments for economic diversification, with a focus on higher value-added goods and services,” the book says.

A press release from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on Wednesday said the book’s conclusions and suggestions were reached after speaking with experts in their respective fields.

It noted that the book also includes global trends that will challenge Cambodia in the coming years, such as climate change, population growth, digitalisation and globalisation.

“[The book] illustrates the hypothetical outcome for the topic if current practice keeps going,” it said.

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