Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - French give $15m

French give $15m

French give $15m

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

development."

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

million.

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.

Civil

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

pilot.

In a separate donation another $5 million will be given to the

non-governmental organization Handicap International.

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