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UN eyes post-virus transport, trade networks in Kingdom

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Cargo is loaded at the Phnom Penh International Airport. The UN project would put a premium on the world’s reach and regional presence, international cooperation, knowledge and good practices globally. Hong Menea

UN eyes post-virus transport, trade networks in Kingdom

A new UN project under the UN Conference on Aid and Development (UNCTAD) seeks to construct transport and trade networks in Cambodia and developing countries around the world to deal with trade and transport challenges once Covid-19 passes.

A UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) press release said: “A new joint UN project is seeking to help governments and businesses keep transport networks and borders operational and facilitate the flow of goods and services while containing the spread of the coronavirus.

“The project, launched this month, will implement UN solutions, standards, guidelines, metrics, tools and methodologies to help developing countries build transport, trade and logistics resilience in the wake of Covid-19.”

The initiative brings together UNCTAD and five UN regional commissions for Africa (ECA), Europe (ECE), Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and Western Asia (ESCWA).

Funding is administered by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The press release said the project puts a premium on the world’s reach and regional presence, international cooperation, knowledge and good practices globally.

“It seeks to equip governments in developing countries to adapt to post-coronavirus conditions by tapping into UN expertise, standards, tools and guidance,” it said.

Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman and General Department of Land Transport director Chhoun Von told The Post on Thursday that if the UN wants to push transport he welcomes the idea.

He said transport conditions in the Kingdom are limited and border crossing is open only for goods at the moment.

“We always encourage and welcome cooperation if any firm or agency wishes to develop public transport,” he said.

UN Resident Coordinator Pauline Tamesis said in a meeting of the inter-ministerial committee to combat Covid-19 with the UN country team on April 30, that like many countries around the world, Cambodia faces a complex challenge to respond to the impact of Covid-19.

This challenge is not only in health but also in other areas such as education, tourism, trade, finance, and industries.

“Even though there has not been a major outbreak of the disease in Cambodia, the external economic fallout is already affecting the national economy.

“Leading sectors such as textiles, tourism and construction are under severe pressure, resulting in lower output and mass layoffs, and there will be knock-on effects on other sectors too.

“Cambodia is exposed as a highly open economy for trade, but also one with a narrow economic base with few fallback options,” she said.

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