A Japanese think tank recently completed a 500-page glossy study on Cambodian reconstruction
and development needs that is intended to serve as a roadmap for potential investors
and donor agencies.
The 500-page report was produced by the Japan Development Institute (JDI), a private,
non-profit organization operated by the Engineering Consulting Firms Association
of Japan (ECFA).
Entitled "Comprehensive Study of Reconstruction and Development of Cambodia
for Medium and Long Term Development," the report proposes maximum use of Cambodia's
natural resources while at the same time calling for balanced growth between urban
and rural sectors, equitable income distribution, and "sustainable development
through environmental protection."
The authors list 157 proposed projects geared to reconstruction and development,
with an estimated total price tag of more than US $5 billion.
"We've taken the long view," said Hisashi Takanashi, JDI's principle economist.
"This study provides recommendations on development for the period up until
the year 2010. The report makes much reference to Thailand's economic growth successes."
EFCA is a member organization comprised of Japanese consulting firms, banks, and
"Some of EFCA's members may try to promote specific projects outlined in the
report purely on a company-by-company basis," Takanashi said. Commenting on
the study, a Western diplomat said, "There is a certain amount of self-interest
in reports such as this, but it will also be of use to the broader development community."
An 18-member team of economists and regional planners collected the data used in
the report during a visit to Cambodia from April 21 to May 1, l992. Among those consulted
by the team were various State of Cambodia ministries, the United Nations Development
Program, the Cambodian Resource Development Institute, and the U.S. Agency for International
Sixty copies of the report were presented on July 16 to Phnom Penh government officials
and ministries. Copies will also be delivered to UNDP, international donor agencies,
nongovernmental organizations operating in Cambodia, and local embassies.