E DMOND Alphandery, the French Minister of Economics and Finance, signed two
protocols with his Cambodian counterpart Sam Rainsy at the Finance ministry on
July 23 for a wide-ranging $15.8 million (87 million Francs) aid package. Mr
Alphandery was on a two-day visit to the Kingdom.
Before announcing the
details of the protocols, the minister said: "France has played an active role
in helping Cambodia to recreate the conditions for bringing about its economic
France is giving $11.2 million to develop the country's
infrastructure. The second protocol covers the donation of the equivalent of
14,000 tonnes of cereals, either wheat, flour or rice, worth some $3.64
French firms are likely to benefit from the first financial
protocol. The aeronautics company Aerospatiale will be supplying the Royal
Government of Cambodia with a helicopter worth over $550,000. Fielding a French
journalist's question, Mr. Alphandery strenuously denied that the craft would be
used for military purposes.
Alcatel, a communications firm, has a
contract for $2.8 million to supply six thousand telephone lines to the Phnom
Penh central telephone exchange.
Schlumberger will install security
X-ray machines at Pochentong airport for $360,000. Electricite de France, the
state-owned French electricity firm, will be receiving $1.33 million to provide
equipment and technical assistance to the Phnom Penh network. The entire
Cambodian currency is to be reviewed and $1.45 million will be set aside to
print new bills and mint coins.
Other contracts have not yet been
attributed to firms as they are still out to tender. Rehabilitation of drinking
water in a district of Phnom Penh will cost $2 million. A further $90,000 will
go towards equipment for a pharmaceutical testing laboratory.
aviation will receive equipment worth $220,000.
Air traffic control
towers at Siem Reap and Pochentong will receive technical equipment valued at
$2.24 million. Another $180,000 will go towards training a Cambodian
In a separate donation another $5 million will be given to the
non-governmental organization Handicap International.