Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chhon to ink Aust aid MoU

Chhon to ink Aust aid MoU

Chhon to ink Aust aid MoU

A ROYAL Government delegation is to fly to Australia to sign an umbrella Memorandum of Understanding on Oct 27 governing the disbursement of A$92 million in aid from Canberra over the next four years.

Minister of State Keat Chhon, the Secretary-General of the Cambodia Rehabilitation and Development Board is to lead the team and will sign the MoU with Australia's Minister of International Cooperation and Pacific Affairs Gordon Bilney.

Talks are to be held in Australia prior to the signing to decide how the money should be spent. Canberra's Ambassador in Phnom Penh Tony Kevin will also be flying home to join in.

He and Chhon made the MoU signing announcement in speeches at a business lunch on Oct 12, which was part of the Australian Food and Wine Festival.

Kevin said: "The significance of these talks in Australia is that for the first time the Cambodian government will be taking part fully in the determination of agreed priorities for expenditure under the [aid] program. In this sense it is truly a joint program."

The Ambassador made a veiled reference to the embarrassing leak of a cable written by his predecessor John Holloway, which spoke in very undiplomatic terms about leading Cambodian figures.

He said: "It is very clear to me, even after only 12 weeks here, that Australians are in Cambodia for the long haul, that we are true friends of Cambodia and that our friendship will not be shaken by any temporary political squalls."

In his speech Chhon urged more foreign investment from the assembled businessmen. Referring to the Investment Law he said: "It's not perfect but it sends a clear message about our plans and intentions. It is most liberal and it is up to you to take advantage of it."

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in