Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia on telecom priority

Cambodia on telecom priority

Cambodia on telecom priority

CAMBODIA and Laos have been assured first bites of a grand $200 million telecommunications

plan to link China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Telecommunication is one of seven areas where the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is

driving the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) toward a six-country "superlink."

Officials at a two-day forum recently in Phnom Penh acknowledged that the GMS's first

deals are likely to be in telecommunications and hydropower, because that's where

the region's private investors see the greatest potential for profit.

Cambodia and Laos were told by ADB project engineer Robert Rothery that they'll be

the first countries to benefit from the huge telecommunications plans, and later

will be Vietnam and Burma.

"It will allow them to intergrate their economies more closely with the big

countries like China and Thailand and to derive the benefits that the intergration

gives them."

Delegates, including the KfW (German Development Bank) agreed on construction and

policy priorities at the meeting.

Thirteen transmission projects linking each country with fiber optic cables, worth

$83.2 million, were discussed. The link would improve the reliability of the network,

delegates were told.

Cambodia had three of these projects: a link with Vietnam ($3.6 million); with Thailand

($9.4 million); and Laos ($18.3 million).

Soft loans from private commercial firms would be the prefered funding option. If

that didn't work, loans from the ADB and the World Bank would be sought as "lenders

of last resort".

Dr Karl Joachim Trede, project manager of KfW, said stability and security were important

issues, but he believed private investors would come to Cambodia if the political

situation was stable and the legal framework was in place.

He said KfW had already signed a $10 million agreement to build a network link between

Phnom Penh and Bangkok through Battambang, Pursat, Sisophon and Kompong Chhnang.

The project will begin next year and finish in 1998.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the