Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China eyes poverty reduction

China eyes poverty reduction

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Huang Xilian, the Chinese ambassador to Asean speaks at an Asean-China-UNDP meeting in Siem Reap on Tuesday. Niem Chheng

China eyes poverty reduction

China, which lifted a large number of its almost 1.5 billion citizens from economic hardship over the decades, has pledged to assist Cambodia to alleviate poverty among its people.

The assurance was conveyed by Huang Xilian, the Chinese Ambassador to Asean during the two Asean-China-UNDP (United Nations Development Program) Symposiums that concluded in Siem Reap province on Tuesday.

The assistance, he said, will also be part of China’s contribution to the UN’s ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Asean, which is home to about 630 million people.

Huang said China was prepared to share its 40-year experience of tackling poverty with the Kingdom, which has a poverty rate hovering at some 13.5 per cent.

“We are ready to share our experience with regional countries so that we can deepen our cooperation, [our] pragmatic cooperation in this field and bring a win-win result for everybody,” he said.

In Siem Reap, public and private sector representatives, non-governmental organisations, 10 Asean member countries, UN agencies, and China discussed ways to bring economic progress to communities, and thereby achieve the UN’s sustainable development agenda 2030.

Huang expressed confidence that Cambodia could achieve the SDGs under the leadership of Prime Minister-designate Hun Sen.

“I would like to congratulate the government of Cambodia. We believe under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, we will achieve more in the field of sustainable development and poverty reduction in the years to come.

“China will work closely with Asean and the UNDP to help Cambodia achieve its sustainable development goals and poverty eradication,” he reiterated.

Foreign Affairs Ministry Under-Secretary Kan Pharidh, who was present at the symposium, said the SDGs were in line with the government’s strategies that were put in place since 2003.

He said Cambodia attained the lower middle-income status in 2015 when per capita income touched $1,070.

Since 2007, he said Cambodia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by a healthy seven per cent per annum, which helped improve the economic status of the people.

Per capita income jumped to $1,435 last year compared to $1,042 in 2013. The government aims to achieve a per capita income of $1,560 this year.

Huang said Chinese President Xi Jinping had earlier announced funding of $200 million for the South-South Cooperation, largely to promote sustainable development among the region’s emerging economies.

“We have taken a lot of initiatives to help regional countries narrow their development gaps and reduce poverty levels,” he said.

However, Sophal Ear, an associate professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles, US, was not as optimistic about poverty eradication.

He said even with the help of China, which successfully achieved its Millennium Development Goals, it was next to “impossible” to wipe out poverty.

“For the SDG, there are 17 goals and they’re not [so] easy to check off.

“I think it will be next to impossible to ‘eliminate poverty’ completely unless it is defined very narrowly, as say $2 a day per person, but even then we may never reach it even with China’s help,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Virus tops 84 with new cases in S’ville

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and it highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • Two French tourists latest Covid-19 cases in Kingdom

    The Kingdom on Saturday saw two more cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 53. While the majority of the previous cases are linked to a Muslim religious gathering in Malaysia, the latest cases involved two French tourists visiting Sihanoukville. The Ministry of Health said

  • Kingdom’s virus toll tops 84, Cambodians in Thailand rush home

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and its highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • NBC calls for cashless payments

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has urged government ministries, financial institutions and the public to conduct cashless payments via electronic systems where possible to combat the spread of Covid-19. “To contribute to the prevention of Covid-19, the National Bank of Cambodia encourages financial institutions

  • CEO held for fraud in Siem Reap

    Over 200 individuals gathered in front of the Siem Reap Provincial Court last week to ask that Dim Suonnath, the CEO of a real estate company being held for fraud, take responsibility for compensating some 2,000 residents who invested with him. The request was denied. Suonnath responded

  • Ministry calls for home schooling

    Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Hang Chuon Naron appealed to parents of students to provide home education in a proper environment and help them obtain more learning materials. The ministry also allowed schools to take a premature vacation after several people tested positive for