T he Royal Government of Cambodia revealed its long-term plan for economic
growth, national reconciliation, social justice, and economic growth at the
Tokyo ICORC meeting.
At the conference, Finance Minister Sam Rainsy
outlined the government's National Programme to Rehabilitate and Develop
Cambodia and gave details on plans to set up a market economy.
overriding objective of the government is to achieve a fair, just and peaceful
society and, through accelerating the rate of economic growth, to raise the
living standards of all Cambodians.
"Our moves along the road from a
centrally planned economy to a full market economy are both irreversible and
Central to the government's plan are two commitments:
sustainable economic growth, and social justice and equity.
- To reform the country and its public service. Efforts will focus on creating
and enforcing laws necessary to set up the basis of an orderly society, and
finalizing the reorganization of the government.
- To rely on private enterprise and the market as engines of growth. The
government has a GDP growth objective of 7-8 percent a year in real terms. The
government recognizes there is a lack of skilled labor, and infrastructure
urgently needs repair and updating.
- The government wants to link its three main towns, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville
and Siem Reap, and create a growth corridor between Sihanoukville and Phnom
Penh. Route 4 to Sihanoukville and Route 6 to Siem Riep will be given priority
- To double the present level of GDP by 2004 in real terms. The government
will accomplish this, in part, by increasing security, maintaining a stable
macro-economic environment, creating the climate and institutions required to
increase savings and investment, establish conditions to promote private sector
activity, and re-integrate the Cambodian economy into the international
- To make health, education and social services accessible to the public. The
government said people are the country's most important asset. It intends to
increase mother and child health care, increase control of communicable
diseases, interrupt the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, improve the
supply and distribution of drugs.
- In the health sector, the government says it needs to spend $140.8 million
over the next six years.
- So far, $88.5 million in aid has been identified. For education, the
government says it needs over $123 million over the next three years.
- To ensure, within the decade, a substantial improvement in the standard of
- To improve rural living. The government plans to improve irrigation and
drainage systems and access to markets and to the port of Sihanoukville, to
privatize rubber estates, ensure an adequate supply of credit to farmers,
address land tenure, land mines and internal security.
- To ensure the pattern of development is sustainable socially, politically,
fiscally and environmentally.