Today I am so thrilled to be able to join with all of our people to put into official operation the assembly line of a range of intricate electronic parts to be built into smart phones, cars, computers and other miniature electronic products. As is reported by the Governor of Phnom Penh and also affirmed by Mr. Yoshihisa Kainuma, Minebea President and CEO, the Royal Government of Cambodia renders strong support in setting up the factory line here. If I am not mistaken, before today’s inauguration, President Kainuma of Minebea Company met me twice – January and July 2011 to seek support for exclusiveness in certain issues so as to guarantee its investment in Cambodia.
I gave President Kainuma my support and promised him the Royal Government of Cambodia will take full responsibility to see through the operation of the Minebea Company’s production and investment. I was then invited to preside over the grand opening of the Minebea (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. in Phnom Penh’s special economic zone. I am so happy that today I have fulfilled what I promised to President Kainuma. It is a great honor too that we have here in this ceremony the presence of HE Seishu Makino, Japan’s Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
I am glad that both the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Minebea (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. are keeping their promises with high responsibility. In his words, President Kainuma said the Minebea Co. Ltd. would be grateful if Samdech Techo continues to support its investment in Cambodia. I wish to take note on that and assure you I treat this company as a child that I assist its birth. How could I let the child die? This should ensure your trust. In my capacity as the Prime Minister and the President of the Cambodia Development Council, I could not let the Minebea’s operation to fail.
I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for the Minebea Co. Ltd. for its efforts in providing training for some 300 local personnel in Thailand, Malaysia and China. I am sure this sort of skill training will go on. It is always an impressive Japanese style of investment that investors always look seriously into legal, infrastructural, electric and water systems along with the need for development of human resources. I would urge our workers to understand the correlation of success scored by the factory/company to those of themselves. The Governor of Phnom Penh HE Kep Chuktema also mentioned about facilities and favorable conditions provided for smooth operation of the SEZ and residential areas around the zone.
It is a great pride and I am so thrilled that Cambodia has reached a new phase that it now attracts high-tech investments. As you all are aware that it has been a while now that we depend mainly on garment and tourism-related sectors that are vulnerable to impacts from external crisis. That does not mean Cambodia no longer encourages investments in garment and tourism. But while we continue to do so, we also have to focus on achieving the goal to promote broad based economic growth, which is definitely involved in industrial sector as well. The Minebea’s high-tech miniature and intricate electronic parts signifies our interest in attracting new and advanced technology.
Before meeting with President Kainuma, I had no idea about the Minebea’s products to be assembled in Cambodia. Later I know that the Minebea’s high-tech miniature and intricate electronic parts are common to be built into smart phones, cars, computers and other miniature electronic products, including a device to scan through human stomach. This product will be a breakthrough in endoscopy science as it will change and improve the current practice. I am so proud that that type of intricate electronic part is “Made in Cambodia.”
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few points to the media and other investors as we have here with us the presence of Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, Secretary General of Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) in relation to report that various companies, the Minebea Co Ltd. also included, have moved out of Thailand to other destinations, Cambodia also included, after they had been hit by the flood.
I would like to clarify that Minebea doe not move out of Thailand. Minebea Co. Ltd. Japan is a group of companies, of which Minebea (Cambodia) is one of them. I am taking this issue up because I do not want people to misunderstand and confuse about Minebea’s investment in Cambodia. Minebea (Cambodia) came to Cambodia even before flooding in Thailand. The company already spent one year sorting out paper works before coming to see me. This should clarify that Minebea doe not leave Thailand for Cambodia, but continues to have its investment in Thailand too.
This also affirms that Cambodia is not a dumping site of wastes from Thailand as some people said it to be. This shall deny the thought that Minebea Co. Ltd. is coming to Cambodia only when Minebea had a disaster from flood in Thailand. In fact, some may think that Cambodia is Minebea’s last resort. Coming to this I think all three of us – the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Thai Board of Investment and the Minebea Co. Ltd. – have the duty to make it clear to concerned stakeholders. In other words, Minebea Co. Ltd. has got its member operations in Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and China as well.
I wish to have your attention on one point that in the world, production structures are interconnected. Take for example in Thailand, because of flooding, as some factories closed their production lines, impacts are noted not only in Thailand but also in various other countries too like the United States of America, Canada, etc. Production lines in these countries depend on parts that are produced in factories in Thailand. Once the production in Thailand stalled, the peripheral production lines in related countries also did.
You may see that what has been assured by the Governor of Phnom Penh of intervention force is very convincing because the Prime Minister is the head of this force himself. In addition to that many powerful officials are members to this committee to see that all problems – if there is going to be – will be resolved. Under the Prime Minister, in the committee sits Minister of Interior, Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Economy and Finance, Minister of Trade, Minister of Land, Urban Planning and Construction, Minister of Industry, Minister of Industry, Minister of Public Transports and Works, Minister of Labor and Vocational Training and General Secretary of Cambodia Development Council, SEZ, etc.
As you can see, by looking into composition of the committee to facilitate the operation of the SEZ and other companies’ operations, investments in SEZ will be safe. Besides Phnom Penh, We have SEZ in Svay Rieng’s Bavet, Kompong Cham province, and two in Kompong Som or Sihanoukville province. We will have one more in Koh Kong province. I urge all concerned to make sure that Minebea Co. Ltd. will be a success story in Cambodia. You may be to reminded that if Minebea Co. Ltd. leaves Cambodia for any reason, that would scare other Japanese companies away too.
It is on the contrary, if Minebea Co. Ltd. is a success story in Cambodia, more Japanese companies and also those of other countries will come to Cambodia too. We must provide whatever facilities we have for operation of the SEZ, including the operation of the Minebea Co. Ltd. too. In fact this part of Phnom Penh is usually lacking of water so I urge that effort must be made to involve the Water Headquarter of Phnom Penh to provide water to the area. I once again urge our workers to focus on doing a good job so as to enhance Cambodian pride and future. I have said to various Japanese leaders to convince Japanese investors to come to Cambodia. Now that they start coming, we should try to maintain the flow.
I thank Lok Jumteav Lim Chhiv Huor for the investments she made to get the SEZ Phnom Penh off the ground. The SEZ Phnom Penh land size is 350 hectares. If we apply a principle of one hectare for one family, for this size we only provide land accessibility for 350 families. As is reported to you, the Minebea Co. Ltd. alone could provide initially job for 1,200 workers. The company anticipates future production increase to generate job for 3,500 workers. According to the registration, 31 companies of total 63 million investments are operating in the SEZ Phnom Penh and providing jobs for roughly 5,832 workers.
It is a multi-pronged strategy to have this SEZ. We have many companies coming in to operate and produce for export, which means they will provide jobs for our people. People living around will get jobs in SEZ. I asked a person on my way in. Though he confirmed that he is one of the workers in SEZ, he also told me he just finished harvesting rice. See, people can be workers and farmers at the same time. It has been a while now that some politicians have been launching their concepts of dividing number of families in Cambodia for doing different jobs.
They are of the opinion that Cambodia should plan so and so number of families to grow rice, so and so number of families to grow and work in rubber plantations, in factories, in fisheries, etc. I find it disgusting that these people, who boast about their free ideas, liberalism, human rights, free market economy, etc., are talking about planning economy. What different are they to Pol Pot? While they insult the CPP officials as communists, they themselves are trying to become ones, even when they are not in power yet. I never know communists. I only hear people say it.
I have involved in managing this country for quite some time now. I am not a theorist like those people but a man in practice. We could not plan it that way. I have involved in leading this country since when I was 27 and I am now almost 60. In just a few days it will be the thirtieth anniversary of the day when Cambodia is liberated from the genocide. Whether I stay too long will be up to the people to decide. I have the rights and will contest in the elections. If people no longer need me, I will step out. I told those politicians many times that I would go to the Santepheap building to transfer power to those who would get elected. The first thing, however, is that they have to win the elections. I come into power constitutionally. I will have to leave constitutionally too. Any other way would deem to be illegal and would have to be reprimanded.
I hope the company will operate with profit. The company’s profit means Cambodia’s profit too. People living around, as I said earlier, have access to job in the SEZ and also operate restaurants and other businesses. As is said by President Kainuma, people around the SEZ can also benefit from renting lodgments for workers. Most important of all is that we will coordinate jobs availability in industry and in agriculture. What could we expect when the district of Dangkao was liberated? What did we have?
Look, Phnom Penh is now getting bigger. Since I assumed the Prime Minister position in Cambodia, I have made decisions four times to enlarge the capital of Phnom Penh. My first decision in 1986 was to merge the Phnom Penh International Airport, then Pochentong International Airport, which was then in the district of Phnom Penh of Kandal province, under the capital city of Phnom Penh. Secondly, I decided to give a large area in Mok Kampoul district of Kandal province to Phnom Penh too. I visited the Prek Tasek area with then Governor of Phnom Penh, HE Thaong Khon, in between 1987-88, and mobilized government officials and members of the Phnom Penh youth association to clear the inundated forest in the area so as to prevent Khmer Rouge’s infiltration into hiding places close to Phnom Penh.
There were no people who own the land there yet. It is ridiculous that now some people claimed they own land in those areas since 1979. This morning, I told the scouts that before June 20, 1977, I was like a piece of algae wandered aimlessly in lake according to the wind. As of June 20, 1977, I have gradually become a large lake with so many aquatic plants and animals. That is why I know a thing or two about this country and I could lead the country to bring the Pol Pot’s regime to its end. To give more land to Phnom Penh so as to place the Extraordinary Chamber in the Court of Cambodia to try the Khmer Rouge leaders under Phnom Penh was my third decision. Finally in 2010, I issued a sub-decree to give Kandal’s twenty more communes to Phnom Penh./.