Sweden and the EU on May 11 provided $1.5 million for a two-year project spanning 2021-2022 to support the Parliamentary Centre of Asia’s (PCAsia) Cambodian activities. The agreement was signed virtually on May 11.

PCAsia’s long-term goal is to contribute to an improvement in the performance of the parliaments in the region by helping to strengthen the capacity of their parliamentary staff, and by increasing technical exchanges and experience-sharing among their regional and international peers.

The project aims to support public financial management (PFM) reforms by providing technical assistance to government institutions, said Swedish ambassador to Cambodia Bjorn Haggmark.

“This support is to create an enabling environment for the PFM reform to be implemented. This should allow authorities to deliver better services to the public,” Haggmark said.

This support was part of the partnership for accountability and transparency programme, which was co-funded by Sweden and the EU. It was designed to complement the EU’s sector budget support to the PFM reforms, according to a press release.

PCAsia’s executive director Dararith Kim-Yeat said Sweden had been a strategic partner for PCAsia at both the national and regional levels, supporting both core activities and also the Fiscal Analysis Capacity Training activities that led to the creation by the Cambodian Senate of the Budget Research Department (BRD) in 2020.

He added that the BRD’s main duty was to provide research and budget analysis to members of Cambodia’s parliament and it was an important and useful resource for the Cambodian government and leadership to be able to draw upon when making budgetary decisions.

“In signing the agreement with PCAsia, we have faith that Sweden will choose to continue pursuing this successful strategy,” he said.