Message by His Excellency Long Kem,â€¨
Ambassador of Cambodia to the State of Kuwait
Independence Dayâ€¨9 November 2013
On the auspicious of the 60th Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I would like to extend my warm greetings to Cambodian people in Kuwait. I also take this opportunity to thank Kuwaiti and other friends for their good wishes and greetings.
November 9 is the historical day of the declaration of the full independence of Cambodia under the royal crusade and the noble mission of His Majesty Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, the Heroic King-Father for Independence, Territorial Integrity and Khmer Unity, to claim independence from the French colonization in 1953.
All Cambodian people always remember in our hearts the compassion and great sympathy of His Majesty Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, who has physically and mentally sacrificed for the causes of national independence, integrity, happiness and prosperity of the society with priceless achievement until today as well as paving the way for peace, development and solidarity for the whole Cambodian society, which Cambodian people have always followed up this noble development path.
As we celebrate our Independence Day, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the history of Cambodian governments, the current economic and social developments and business opportunities in Cambodia and the good relations between Cambodia and Kuwait as follows:
1- History of Cambodian Governments
After Independence, under the leadership of King Norodom Sihanouk, Cambodia had adopted a policy of neutrality and got support from international community to guarantee Cambodia’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. Cambodia had enjoyed peace and developments in all fields for more than one decade. But the conflict of cold war had huge negative affected to the development of Cambodia and its people since 1970 to 1991.
With support from the international community, Cambodian conflict was resolved by the Paris Peace Agreement in 1991. The United Nations was given a mandate to organise peacekeeping operations and held election in Cambodia in 1993. It was the first time that nation has enjoyed political stability and started rebuilding its country. Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy and adopts a policy of liberal democracy and pluralism.
The Royal Government of the fifth Legislature of the National Assembly was created by a free, fair, just and transparent general election held on 28 July 2013. The Royal Government firmly adheres to the grand spirit of national unity and solidarity in order to mobilize the force of people from all walks of live, all political tendencies both at home and overseas to unite under the national motto- Nation, Religion, King- to build and protect the nation and maintain its social achievements in the framework of independent sovereign state enjoying territorial integrity, peace, democracy, progress and prosperity following the footsteps of His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk, the King-Father of independence, territorial integrity and unity of Cambodia.
2-Economic and Social Development in Cambodia
Peace, full territorial unity and political stability for the last decade, allows Cambodia to implement its reform programs in all sectors to re-build institutional capacities, strengthen socio-economic infrastructure, and create a highly conducive climate to attract investments from both domestic and overseas sources to enable strong economic growth and poverty reduction.
Based on the prudent and interlinked implementation of public finance and monetary policies in combination with the free market policy, the Royal Government of Cambodia has realized macro-economic stability and favourable conditions for development. Cambodia's economy has grown steadily, its national strength has been enhanced considerably, and Cambodian people's livelihood has improved significantly. Cambodia’s economy gained momentum and dynamism by growing on average 9.4% per annum during 2000-2007.
Despite the global economic downturn, the Cambodian economy was growth at 7.2 percent in 2012 and it is estimated to grow by 7.5 percent in 2013. People’s living standards have been improved considerably, contributing to the social security of the country.
3-Business Opportunity in Cambodia
Cambodia is in Southeast Asia, covers an area of 181,035 sq km. It is a country with great and unexploited potential. The potential in agriculture, both agro-industry and agro-processing, is tremendous with fertile land and favourable climate. The Royal Government has provided land for large scale agriculture and agro-industry projects through economic land concessions to private companies. The Royal Government of Cambodia supports large scale investments in agriculture and agro-industry through economic land concessions, in which the main objectives are socio-economic development, jobs creation and improvement in living standards in rural areas by linking development with sustainable environment conservation.
In the tourism sector, Cambodia is fortunate to inherit great historical and cultural heritages especially Angkor Wat Temple and a beautiful natural environment along the mountain ranges, forests, lakes, seashores and offshore islands. Tourism continues to grow and significantly contribute to the development of the service sector. The diversity of historical and cultural heritages, natural and cultural parks such as forests, lakes, seashores and attractive landscapes has turned the tourism into an attractive sector for investment in Cambodia. The tourism industry has continued to grow rapidly with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year since 2007 and reaching 3 million visitors in 2012.
The construction sector is booming in Cambodia. Many foreign investors have been invested in this sector by building of huge towers, business centers and shopping malls. Moreover, Cambodia has adopted a new law in 2011 that allows foreigners to own the first floor of flat or apartment. The law provides a good opportunity for foreigners to buy cheap property in Cambodia. The construction project approvals have been up sharply to 1.9 billion in the first half year 2013.
Garment sector is also play an important role for the economic growth in Cambodia. It creates many jobs for Cambodian people and it became the Cambodia’s biggest export earner, $4.45 billion in 2012. The garment sector is now in good standing to compete in the world market by improving its labour standards and the Cambodian government has taken measures to implement trade facilitation and promote investment.
In mineral resources, the promising future from the commercialization of oil, gas and other mineral resources has opened up new economic opportunities and hopes for Cambodia to become a new development zone in the region. These factors highlighted the opportunity to achieve high and sustainable economic growth in the medium and long terms as well as to promote fast economic diversification.
In addition to the potential of these sectors, Cambodia is one of beneficiaries of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme which import tariffs on many of its products are exempted or reduced by developed countries. Cambodia membership in ASEAN, WTO, AFTA, ASEM, Trade Agreement with China, EU and the US as well as other development initiatives in the region have provided investors with market accesses to most countries around the world.
Although Cambodia has economic growth in recent years, but it still has a long way to go to achieve economic and social development.
Cambodia is still in needs of a number of infrastructures such as transport system, telecommunication, electricity and irrigation system. Cambodia offers a competitive investment incentive package with a non-discriminatory stance to all kinds of investment, and opens every economic sector for investment. Following the export program of the Royal Government of Cambodia by 2015, Cambodia would export one million tonnes of rice to the world market. In this connection, on behalf of Royal Government of Cambodian, I would like to invite Kuwaiti/foreign investors to explore opportunity for cooperation and investment in Cambodia, especially in the fields of agriculture, garment, tourism, construction, gas and oil, where Cambodia has comparative advantage.
Cambodia will continue to encourage foreign companies to make investment and do business in Cambodia. We will create a more friendly investment, market competition and legal protection. Facts will continue to prove that to come and do business in Cambodia is a wise decision to grow their business.
4-Cambodia and Kuwait Relations
Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1994 and have been strengthened by a continuing exchange of senior official visits. His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait visited Cambodia in August 2008 and Samdech Ahkka Moha Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia paid a return visit to Kuwait in mid January 2009. These visits had constructively contributed to strengthening relations and led to the signing of a dozen bilateral agreements and Memorandum of Understandings between Cambodia and Kuwait. For realizing the documents have been signed by the two governments, Cambodia and Kuwait will establish the joint commission to work together to promote further cooperation and relations between the two countries and peoples.
For strengthening the mutual diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Embassy of the State of Kuwait was opened in Phnom Penh from 2011 and H.E. Dhirar Nasser Al-Tuwaijri as Ambassador to Cambodia.
As the first of an extraordinary and plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the State of Kuwait, it is my privilege to underline the importance of our valuable mutual relations between Cambodia and Kuwait. Cambodia receives the generous assistance from the Kuwait government and other religious organizations in rebuilding its country infrastructure and social development. I would like to express my sincere thanks and deepest gratitude to the government and peoples of Kuwait for their generous support for the development of Cambodia and for the valuable and continued assistance rendered to the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in the State of Kuwait.
Finally, on this happy occasion, I wish all Cambodian people in Kuwait good health, happiness and prosperity. I also take this opportunity to wish continued good health and well-being to His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Jabah, His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and the friendly people of the State of Kuwait.
May the relations of friendship and cooperation between Cambodia and Kuwait be further strengthened and developed for the benefits of our two peoples, for peace, stability and prosperity in the region and in the world.