Indian ambassador Devyani Kobragade has reaffirmed her country’s commitment to improving ties with Cambodia, particularly in the area of non-urban advancement. The announcement was made during a September 12 meeting with Minister of Rural Development Chhay Rithisen.

Kobragade praised the existing collaboration between the countries, while reaffirming her intention to deepen the partnership, primarily with the ministry.

“India will continue to share expertise in education, training and human resources, focusing on aspects such as farming loans and the creation of model villages,” she said.

Rithisen expressed his gratitude to India for its ongoing support in several sectors including culture, religion, education and skills training. He highlighted the government’s current focus on job growth, equity, efficiency and sustainability as part of its 2050 vision.

“The ministry has prioritised the development of physical and transport infrastructure, along with the establishment of model towns to enhance services and boost the economy in outlying areas,” he added.

Earlier in September, Rithisen encouraged leaders from the Department of Community Development and the Department of Ethnic Minority Development to explore the possibility of establishing economically viable pilot villages in indigenous communities. The aim is to improve living conditions and strengthen the livelihoods of residents.

Kobragade noted that her country plans to further expand its partnership with the Kingdom by improving water supply and sanitation systems to provide arsenic-free water using Amrit technology, a method of extracting viable resources from plants. She also added that they are encouraging Indian investors to create more job opportunities in the country.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), voiced her support for international efforts which aimed to elevate living standards in rural Cambodia.

“While we back the idea of model villages, we also urge stakeholders to address issues related to waste management, sanitation and the production of local goods,” she said on September 13.