Your Venerable Buddhist Monks,
Your Excellency Lee Han-Gon, the Ambassador of Republic of Korea to the Kingdom of Cambodia,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our Compatriots and Dear Students,
Today is a great day where I have a profound honor to participate in the inauguration of Cambodia National Institute of Polytechnic.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and myself, may I express my sincere thanks to His Excellency Lee Han-Gon, the Ambassador of Republic of Korea to the Kingdom of Cambodia, all Your Excellency Ambassadors and representatives from international organizations for attending this event. I also would like to warmly welcome His Excellency Park Jong-Keun, Chairman of the Finance and Economy Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea as well as the members of the delegation representing the Korean counterpart that have actively involved in implementing project to establish this important institute.
I would like to inform Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen that the project to establish Cambodia National Institute of Polytechnic is one of the three big loan projects and can be consider as a fruitful outcome from the negotiation between His Excellency Kim Dae Jung, former president of the Republic of Korea and myself on behalf of the Royal Government during the official visit to the Republic of Korea in 2001 and another negotiation with His Excellency Kim Dae Jung at the ASEAN summit and ASEAN+3 in Brunei in 2001.
It should be also noted that since then the cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Republic of Korea have been constantly progressed. At he same time this relationship has lead to many outcomes, one in particular in terms of establishing this National Institute of Polytechnic. This is one of the biggest projects in the area of professional training in Cambodia and in neighboring countries aiming at providing and enhancing technical professionalism to the level of the international standard and consistent with the requirement of domestic and international labor market. From the successful development experiences of many countries such as Korea and Japan have clearly shown us that the subjectivefactor of their rapid progress is the human resource development. However, another important factor that we have observed is the balance between theoretical and technical human capitals and emphasis on balance between supply and demand of human resources. In this context, for Cambodia, the training of human resources, in terms of technical skills, has to be improved and consistent with trainings at the tertiary level. By doing so, we not only can sufficiently ensure human resources to perform technical work, but also we are aiming to generate employment for people, especially the development of SMEs that at the moment absorbing a large amount work forces in Cambodia.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to highly evaluate the active efforts of the implementing unit of this project, where His Excellency Ith Samheng as a Chairman, to successfully fulfill their responsibility designated by the Royal Government. I am also extending my appreciation to the Korean and Cambodian architectures and engineers that have included Khmer style in designing and crafting of main buildings which make the institute more beautiful, especially it reveals the culture of Cambodia. At the same time, may I express my positive reception for the good cooperation between all relevant ministries/institutions for their effective contribution to successfully establish this institution, in particular infrastructure project where the Royal Government is a counterpart as we all can see right now. I would like to cordially thank and appreciate the Korean firms and all relevant counterparts, including consulting, construction, material/equipment suppliers and research firms that have fulfilled their respective responsibilities to ensure both technical and quality standards for the institution.
I would like to take this opportunity to recall again that because of the vigorous implementation of the “Triangle Strategy”, the Royal Government during the previous Second Legislature of the National Assembly has created favorable environment as well as necessary and sufficient conditions both within and outside the country for Cambodia to mover forward, with hope and strong confidence, on the path of reforms towards progress. Indeed, the success in implementing the “Win – Win” policy make Cambodia to have a tremendous transformation in the world arena from uncertainties due to internal conflicts, prolonged war, instability and backwardness to a country, which respects human rights and dignity, including cooperation and development. We have transparently shown to the international partners that Cambodia certainly has the capacity to equally involve with equal rights in the regional and global affairs. Indeed, all the above factors have created confidence in Cambodia indicated by the increase of investment flows and tourists into Cambodia in the past 10 years. The tourists from Korea have increased yearly and at the present it turns to be number one in Cambodia. Through this we have created many jobs to increase population income in order to contribute to implement the National Strategy aiming at poverty reduction and moving forward to have a notable development of a nation.
In addition, the Royal Government of the Third Legislature of the National Assembly is transforming Cambodia into a country with the rule of law to guarantee people rights and promote sustainable and equitable economic growth in order to practically reduce poverty of the population. We have made tremendous efforts to overcome many challenges to move our country to attain progress, prosperity and harmony. Without doubt, the Royal Government has a vision and clear strategy to gradually implement its activity programs in all areas and sectors. In fact, we can observe all over the country the physical infrastructure in terms of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, temples, ports and irrigation systems that are the results attained by the Royal Government during the past 10 years. All these are the important basis for country future development. Moreover, the Royal Government has been actively focusing in developing irrigation system and cannels to help the population to overcome their problems in agricultural plantation. Taking this opportunity, I would like to appeal to all levels of authorities, national and international organizations as well as to all donor countries to continue to support Cambodia in order for us to successfully realize the development of economic infrastructures, particularly rehabilitation of irrigation system aiming at agricultural development, which is the key sector where the foundation of Cambodia economy lies, and to attain the aspect of the “Rectangular Strategy” of the Royal Government called “For Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency”.
If we observe each strategic angle of the Rectangular Strategy, we will clearly see that all of the four sectors in this strategy require human resource with good education and professional and technical training. Within this framework, it is required that the National Institute of Polytechnic and all other educational establishments in Cambodia, both public and private, must pay more attention on quality management of their education and training programs, that need to conform with international standards, especially it is important to focus on research and to link theory with practice in order to assure that after their graduation, our students will be qualified to go on with their careers.
Our population is now around 13 millions, in which 6 millions constitute the full labor force. Labor force rate in Cambodia increases by 17.6% annually that is the burden and obligation that cannot be overlooked. We must consider boosting employment rate to proportionately increase along with labor force rate. This will ensure employment for our people. With this tendency, the National Policy on Education, Professional and Technical Training must consider to bring all labor forces after secondary school graduation to seek more professional or all kinds and levels of technical training in order to constitute as the driving force for the development of our nation. This means that a country cannot achieve development goals if it lacks highly qualified human resource.
In this sense, I am strong convinced that the National Institute of Polytechnic will be one of the biggest centers that provide practical knowledge in professional and technical skills through the most modern equipments in Cambodia. It will also be the leading and core center in professional and technical training. Indeed, the Cambodian National Institute of Polytechnic is not only the symbol of the cooperation between Cambodia and the Republic of Korea, but it is also the symbol of new vision of Cambodian society from now to the future. It means that this important performance reflects human resource development efforts that balance between human resource with theoretical mindset and those with practical professional skills and expertise. It also balances between supply and demand in human resource.
In the view of achieving the above critical tasks, I urge the management of the Cambodian National Institute of Polytechnicand all other related ministries/institutions to consider on the following important points:
1. Project implementing unit which is headed by H.E. Ith Sam Heng, minister of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation has accomplished their duties. For this reason, on behalf of the Royal Government, I hereby declare the transfer of this institute to be placed under the responsibility of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training and to be organized as public administrative establishment,
2. The institution responsible for the management of the institute must pay attention on strengthening continuity and developing the institute to be the core in training activities in Cambodia through strategic tasks in managing the institute with the saying Cambodian National Institute of Polytechnic for Economic Prosperity, Progress and Change.
3. We need to link professional and technical training to domestic and regional labor market. It is also important to provide training to labor force that go to work in the Republic of Korea as tourist guides, factory employees or in Korean enterprises in Cambodia.
4. This institute must seek revenue sources from technical services provision such as vehicles and machinery repairs, revenue from renting premises for workshop or forum on new technology research for industry application.
5. The Ministry of Economy and Finance is responsible for granting regular budget to the institute in early years of its operations so that it can gradually establish its notoriety before it can resume all the burdens.
6. The Cambodian National Institute of Polytechnic has been constructed in a location, which is greatly favorable for future development. It is because the surrounding areas of the institute are feasible for establishment of small-medium and even big enterprises. In this sense, I urge the Korean and all other foreign investors to consider settling their enterprises in this area with the watchword “Enterprise Helps the Institute, the Institute Supports the Enterprise”.
Before ending, I urge our Korean friends to support the Cambodian National Institute of Polytechnic which is the symbol of cooperation between Cambodia and the Republic of Korea to continually operate and develop professional and technical training to catch up with modern technology development. At the same time, I warmly congratulate the cooperation between the Cambodian National Institute of Polytechnic and Junju University of the Republic of Korea. I also support this great cooperation to continue in the future for the good of professional and technical training in Cambodia and for the cause of strengthening economic, social and cultural cooperation between Cambodia and the Republic of Korea.
To conclude, I wish you all, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the five Gems of Buddhist Blessing. I now declare the opening of the Cambodian National Institute of Polytechnic.