Your Venerable Buddhist Monks;
Your Excellencies, Ladies, Members of Senate, National Assembly and Government;
Distinguished National and International Guests;
Dear Our Beloved Compatriots:
Today, it is my honor and pleasure to join all of you in the ground breaking ceremony for construction of Manhattan factory in the Export Processing Zone at Thnagn village, Baty commune, Chantrie district, Svay Rieng province.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and myself, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to the Chief Executive Officer of Manhattan company who expresses confidence in political and economic condition in Cambodia by investing in the production of bicycle and motorbike factories and all kinds of spare-parts factory. I would also like to thank Venerable Buddhist monks, local authority and all levels of civil servants, arm forces, excellencies, ladies, gentlemen and our beloved compatriots for establishing favorable climate to attract the investments to this province.
At the same time, allow me to express my profound thanks for the immense participation in this ceremony. Your presences not only reflect the supports to policies of RGC in private sector development, but also to encourage more investments to this south-eastern province. Moreover, this special presence strongly encourages me to exert double efforts in availing policies and strategies of the RGC to achieve poverty reduction especially upholding living standard in the rural areas through “the promotion of high economic growth and equitable distribution of benefits from the growth”.
Undoubtedly, one of the poverty reduction policies is to provide more opportunities and to create more jobs in which the policy to attract private investment is the most vital in the national development. In this regard, the RGC considers private sector as “engine of economic growth”. Strengthening government and private sector partnerships must go smoothly with cautious economic intervention as well as strict preparation and implementation of regulations with full support and effective facilitation from all related institutions. In this spirit, we must take into account the actual measures in order to promote deeper systematic reforms targeting to facilitate private sector development and to enhance good environment for investment, trade and enterprises in Cambodia. We must further strengthen our partnership and fulfill more tasks targeting to implement our policy in promoting SMEs and agriculture, to reduce administrative procedures, and to orient trade strategies. In this sense, we must promote the diversification of exported goods, facilitation of supply networks and formation of networks across economic areas. In fact, the establishment of Export Processing Zone, Manhattan, is derived from the logic of regional integration and this is an attempt to penetrate the market and to take benefit of comparative advantage in labor intensive production sectors for Cambodian economy. In this context, we intend to develop the corridors of economic growth along the borders such as creating Manhattan Export Processing Zone in Chantra district, Svay Rieng province to be as a model.
Without any doubt, we must make a clear analysis on every aspect in order to ensure a balance interaction between the initiative to establish the Export Processing Zone and the promotion of small and medium enterprises by not neglecting the environmental concerns as well as human resource development. In this sense, our main objective is to create jobs for Cambodian youths as well as promoting economic growth in order to reduce poverty for the nation.
Moreover, the strength of the private sector is a key for economic development. Therefore, it is essential to enforce laws, rules and regulations and to strengthen institutional capacity to facilitate all activities of business and the private investment, especially, to promote fair competition, transparency, accountability and prosperous and fruitful relationship between the public and private sector. Laying on this foundation, the investment climate will certainly improve, especially, it will bring about progress for the whole national economy. Hence, I would like to announce that “Cambodia is fully open for business and the Royal Government of Cambodia will try its best to guarantee the favorable environment and the success of every enterprise in Cambodia”.
The establishment of this Export Processing Zone in Svay Rieng province is not coincidental. However, it clearly reveals a wise and maturity of the RGC in imposing long term national development strategy. Furthermore, this policy will promote the maximum use of the potential factors in order to craft competitive advantage of Cambodia in the context of globalization aiming at sustainable and equitable economic growth.
It is true that the creation of the Export Processing Zone has brought tremendous benefits for the Cambodian nationals as a whole. The illuminate benefits are from gathering of investment in this zone, for instance, the investment by Manhattan to build factories which will be broken the ground shortly.
Indeed, these factories will serve as the copious policies and strategies of the government in developing the economy as well as protecting national sovereignty. Moreover, besides serving as the exporting policy of the government, the creation of this Export Processing Zone will create new jobs for those who reside in this area and therefore, help to increase their familys’ incomes. As a result, the number of people moving to other locations for new jobs will be decreases. Moreover, it may attract near-by people into this area. This likely movement can transform this area into a newly developed region along the border and become an effective mean to protect our national sovereignty.
According to the report made by the governor of Svay Rieng, I have found out some of the outstanding achievements as follow:
1- The infrastructure development, especially, the national road number 1, which complies with the international standard, the construction of rural roads and the rehabilitation and construction irrigation networks for the agricultural purposes.
2- A noticeable improvement in educational facilities in which hundreds of new schools have been built. Another remarkable and significant achievement is the establishment Svay Rieng University.
3- Tremendous efforts made by the people of Svay Rieng to mobilize benevolence people in helping to rehabilitate and build the achievements in their province.
4- With the current efforts made to attract investments, Svay Rieng now has many companies operating, includingManhattan. Besides, the province still faces some difficulties in the agriculture sector, for example, the pace of production is still slow compared to the year 2004.
The great achievement of Svay Rieng province would not attain without the efforts and the contribution from your venerable monks, arm forces, excellencies, local authorities, all Cambodian people, national and international organizations and benevolence people who bond together to build those achievements.
Indeed, the RCG recognized that both economical and social achievements are yet fully response to the needs of our people. Even though, economic growth has been made, investment has been increased, employment issues have been addressed, hundred of schools and hospitals have been established, thousand kilometers of roads have been rehabilitated and repaired to facilitate the traffics, better living standard; there still be general difficulties remained unresolved. It needs more time and more efforts to attain an appropriate living standard for our people and our national development.
I would take this opportunity to thanks all Cambodian people especially those who live in Svay Rieng who always support the government in sake of “Peace, Economic Development and Poverty Reduction.” It provides incentive to government to successfully bring peace and proudest development.
Taking this chance, I would like to appeal to all levels of local authority to facilitate all sorts of investor in doing their businesses. And again, on behalf of the RGC and my own behalf, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all levels of local authorities, venerable monks, lecturers, all Cambodian people and investors who bond together to build all kinds of achievements in our Svay Rieng province.
Finally, I would like to wish you all who participate in this occasion with five gems of Buddhist blessing.
With the great occasion and gathering, I am please to declare the opening of Manhattan construction site of bicycle factory, motorbike factory and apare-part factory from now on.