Respectful Venerable Monks,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests,
Today, it is my great pleasure to attend the ground breaking ceremony of fertilizer factory which is invested and constructed by The Five Star International Fertilizer Cambodia in Samrongthom commune, Kiensvay district, Kandal province at the moment. This new achievement will contribute to development and improve livelihood of our people in this area and transform this area into production base in the future for manufacturing goods to response to the needs of our people domestically and for export. People of this area and I are proud of the achievement we have made, because this outcome will generate many opportunities including employment generation and development of physical infrastructure at locality.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to convey my congratulation and warm welcome to the Five Star Group International from Vietnam for deciding to invest in Cambodia at the time Cambodia is in need for promoting investment. Indeed, international investors will understand business situation and favorable investment climate in Cambodia through successful execution of this new investment project. On behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm that the government steadfastly welcomes and encourages investment projects to Cambodia, and put further effort to bolster and expand economic cooperation, liberalize industrial development as well as to improve investment climate which is credible to investors and businessmen. I would like to highly appreciate all investors who invest in Cambodia despite the world being affected by the global economic and financial crisis.
At the same time, the Royal Government has been promoting role of private sector which is considered to “growth locomotive” for development, which is very important sector of poverty reduction policy of the government by providing opportunities and employment creation for people. In this connection, the government‘s policy to attract both domestic and international private investors is a vital task at the moment.
The establishment of the fertilizer factory apparently reflects the attention of the Royal Government, who laid out national development strategy and made the best use of domestic resource to strengthen and expand Cambodia’s competitiveness amidst the current of globalization to ensure sustainable development. This also enhances cooperation with the Social Republic of Vietnam, who always supports to strengthen and expand economic and trade link between the two countries.
In this regard, investment and commencement of construction of this fertilizer factory are outcome of achievements and projects, resulting from good economic cooperation and good relationship between the two countries of Cambodia and Vietnam, which allow favorable business environment for private sector of both countries to come, jointly make investment and create business. I strongly believe that economic and trade relationship will bring huge benefit to people of the two countries such as people-to-people relationship in traffic and trade in goods, increase ability to maximize benefit of comparative advantage of each country from trade as H.E Suy Sem just highlighted.
This opportunity cannot be separated from the implementation of the “win-win” policy which rooted out both political and military organization of the Pol Pot Regime. Through this, we all have enjoyed peace and stability, pre-requisites for socio-economic development and improved living standard has been seen today. Moreover, the Royal Government will remain firmly committed to moving Cambodia forward to fulfill the needs of its people.
By implementing this right vision, the Royal Government has received tremendous support from people across the country reflected by the 2008 general election. Starting from this support, the Royal Government has realized some significant achievements to move Cambodia forward. In particular, the Royal Government has been working hard for the development of all kinds of infrastructure, including human resource development that, in turn, will accelerate economic growth and strengthen competitiveness of Cambodia to enable it to integrate effectively, on equal basis and status, into the regional and global framework.
The construction of this large-scale fertilizer factory is another specific indication of new achievements of the Royal Government of the fourth legislature of the National Assembly. This also echoes the rightness and success of the Royal Government in undertaking the Rectangular Strategy-Phase II introduced. One of the strategic rectangles gives specific importance to the development of private sector which is a key to encourage accommodative business environment as well as the development of private enterprises, aiming at diversifying economic foundation and industry sector and providing employment opportunity to people living in this area to earn more income and reduce poverty incidence. Once their incomes have been improved, we can reduce the rate of urbanization. Moreover, this area will absorb people from surrounding and neighboring areas, therefore we can transform this place into a new developed area. Along with this, although we are supporting and pushing hard for domestic production, we do not close our door to imports. This openness aims at strengthening the capacity and quality of domestic production since their viability will depend on the ability to compete with foreign products.
This factory will become the first large-scale fertilizer factory in Cambodia and this is a very joyful piece of news for Cambodian farmers since they used to rely entirely on imports. In this sense, farmers will benefit from the factory. According to the reported figure, the factory can produce 350,000 tons per year during the first stage of its operation. This figure will be bumped to 500,000 tons in its second stage to serve the demand of domestic farmers and foreign markets. This factory will indeed be a significant contribution to import substitution for farmers, create more choices of fertilizer and increase market competition so that farmers will benefit from better products and competitive price.
Along with the economic and trade benefits, the factory will be an important source of employment and provide indirect opportunity to many people who will earn income from the factory-related jobs including: wholesale and retail businesses, transport services, maintenance services, and supporting businesses that supply the demand of the factory. Another gain which characterizes our long-term strategy is the transfer of knowledge, know-how and technology to enable the development of agro-industry and other agricultural supporting sectors. In particular, the factory will be centre of capacity development for Cambodian workers and engineers as they are exposed to both trainings and practice.
Taking this opportunity, in order to ensure the socio-economic interest with sustainability, I would like to request the company to pay high attention in producing the mixed agricultural fertilizers with high quality as well as responding to the need of the technical standard and proper price in order to contribute in promoting the agricultural development in Cambodia through increasing the cultivation yield and farming of Cambodian farmers. Along with this, the company has to strictly respect the working laws, environmental laws, rules and other regulations which are now in effect. The company has to be stick to the principles of high responsibility on the environmental and social issues by closely cooperating with the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Environment in implementing the laws on the management of factories-enterprises and laws on the protection of environment in order to protect the welfare, safety, industry and mitigate the negative impacts on the social environment and other pollution, resulted from the process of the activities of this agricultural fertilizer factory.
In this connection, the local workshops and all industries must also pay attention more intensively to strengthen and expand the ability, possibility and quality of the production and its products in order to solve all challenges of the market competition as well as satisfying the consumers. If we enforce this kind of action we will be able to create a mutually supportive mechanism, consistent needs and supply, and contributing to the enhancement of the national competition of Cambodia, which will boost the economic growth more intensively leading to the acceleration of development in our society.
At the same time, I would like to request the competent authorities, especially the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy to continue good cooperation by preparing clear cut monitoring program, which is to be consistently done, in order to make sure that the production and products are in line with the industrial standard. In this connection, the Ministry of Environment must take a lead in strictly monitoring the management of industrial wastes as well as cooperating with the company in implementing principles of clean technology, aiming to reduce wastes and negative impacts on the environment, human and weather. In this spirit, I strongly believe that all related ministries/institution will continue implementing their tasks with high responsibility.
At the end, with the announcement to open the construction of the Agricultural Fertilizers Factory of the Five Star International Fertilizer Cambodia now, I would like to wish the Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Lok Oknha, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Distinguished Guests and all Compatriots the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.