“Heels Squeezing” Dancing Style – A Creation by Cambodian Children
… Our people, especially younger ones, though there was such an unmerciful heat that affects Cambodia and other countries in the region, had had a good time during the Khmer New Year festivities. I hope that a majority would have learnt this year the so-called “heels squeezing” dancing style. I may elaborate on why I am talking about this dancing method. It is a dancing style developed by Cambodian younger generation. It has created a new style of dancing art for our people. It is not a copy from any other styles …
Sugarcane for Agroindustry and Trade
I am so happy in coming here today after we celebrated the end of old year and start of Khmer New Year to put into official operation this big sugar factory invested by Rui Feng International from China. On the surface, we only see that this is something to do with industry. However, deeper as it goes, this development indicates progress in agroindustry and trade. The factory – where we celebrate this inauguration, will be an important market for our people to sell their sugarcanes to process into sugar. That our farmers can sell off their sugarcanes they grow creates a trend of commerce. I am so happy that we are making progress from one year to another after we started rebuilding the country with bare hands.
Weather Condition – Harsh
… I would suggest to our people not to leave soon. We have here the music band and they can get us to dance squeezing our heels together. I have had my body in pain because of three days dancing in Siem Reap. Yesterday, about fifteen minutes before I received the US Ambassador, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology Lim Kean Hor sent me a letter warning me not to fly from Phnom Penh to Preah Vihear. I wrote back to him that I had no choice. Later that night, (General) Hing Bun Heang texted me that wind had brought sheds fallen down. Six police staff and two military police personnel sent injured and three are now in the hospital at Siem Reap. Some suggested that I take a flight to Siem Reap and from Siem Reap travel by car to Preah Vihear. I then said why not coming on land from Phnom Penh. Well, finally we have decided to come with a big helicopter.
A Factory Produces Sugar, Electricity, Alcohol and Organic Fertilizer
We did whatever we could not to cancel this event because it is a big investment compared to other factories inaugurated so far. Furthermore, the factory complex is able to yield many forms of productions – sugar, for the start, using some 360 million USD, with increasing production in the second and third phase. By the time sugar production gets to half a million tons, waste of sugarcanes from sugar production would be used for generating some 39 megawatt electricity. That would ensure local availability of electricity, which in the future will also help with the iron ore factory here.
I am calling for a restudy by the Ministry of Mines and Energy on this point if it is necessary to keep option of purchasing electricity from Laos. Should it be necessary, how much would we do then (while we already have 39 megawatt here)? Aside from factory need, some 20 megawatt of electricity will supply to the province. Aside from sugar and electricity, the factory will also produce alcohol for local need and for export. We will have organic fertilizer which is important for replanting sugarcanes and/or use in other crops by our farmers.
Company and People in Harmony
The investment in this sugar factory is a major encouragement and resolving job needs among our people. I wish to reiterate what I always said before about harmonization of relation between investment project and people in the area. Some have done a great job and some did not. Take for instance this sugar factory, first of all our people will benefit clearly from infrastructure developed by the company. People use roads built by the company in their development project of factory and sugarcane fields. People do not have to pay for using those infrastructures. The company will invest in building irrigation, by which people in neighboring area can also use it. People also will benefit from electricity in the region. The project also includes building of hospitals and schools, which will not stand for only workers’ benefit but for the people as a whole. People will benefit from infrastructure developed as part of the project of investment […]
Accommodation and Decent Salary Earn Workers
The project also shows its importance that while creating jobs, people in this area and from other provinces could also come for them. As of this moment, the project requires some 7,000 workers and in its full capacity stage, they would double this figure. This would surely help address issue of people migrating for jobs, sometimes illegally, to Thailand. I am encouraging Rui Feng International to get their accommodation ready as part of their strategy to attract more workers. The job market is so competitive now. I always advise companies – big or small, in agriculture, those in Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, Stoeng Treng, Preah Vihear, and some provinces to get ready on labor cost is one, but also on facilities provided for them while working for companies. They should build good accommodation and pay them decently to encourage their productivity. Should they be sick or unhealthy, factory output will be affected […]
What is even more important is job integration. It is a big issue. The company would not have to search to expand land (for growing sugarcanes) … What is job integration? It is when your factory will become a market for people’s produce of sugarcanes. A majority of Cambodian farmers are growing rice, which gives them very little return. The factory should make effort to strand alliance with farmers for them to grow sugarcanes on their own plots of land and purchase them from the farmers. Rui Feng may want to provide people with seed and will collect from them when it is time. I would encourage this not only in this factory but also in others because this will guarantee that people will retain their lands. The company may also provide them with capital, if you can, for them to be able to grow and supply sugarcanes to your factory. I am sure growing sugarcanes in Preah Vihear will expand further, even to Uddar Meanjei province. We have allowed five companies to invest in sugar production and we have the capacity to produce 1.8 million tons of sugar per annum in the near future. At this stage, we have just reached a scale of 440,000 tons.
More China’s Market for Cambodia Requested
I would request to China through HE Ambassador here to open bigger market for Cambodia. I already brought it to the attention of HE Xi Jinping and HE Li Keqiang already and I will continue to do so for China to open bigger market for Cambodian rice, cassava, corn, and sugar. China, with so many population, would be our good market. However, we may know that China, despite its big population, it has so much rice in stock. China, still, helps import some 100,000 tons of rice from Cambodia. It was its understanding for Cambodia. With 12% of land in the world, China feeds about 20% of the world population. With its favor and understanding, China has provided early harvest benefits for Cambodia and countries as most favored nations in the frameworks of ASEAN, GMS and Lancang-Mekong on 98% of their products […]
Investment for Trust on CPP-Led Royal Government
I would take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for Rui Feng for choosing Cambodia for its major investment, which will see 360 million USD in its initial stage in its 1 billion USD investment package. This clearly indicates that the company has confidence in the Royal Government led by the Cambodian People’s Party and the good relations between Cambodia and China, with many generations of whose leaders I had worked to bring Chinese investors into the Kingdom of Cambodia. As we have seen here, the project purchased some 1000 John Deere tractors, a product from the US Company. The US should see that it is also in their interest (that China invests in Cambodia) in selling their products to Chinese companies investing in Cambodia.
Economic Embargo Would Be a Suicide
… The world is interdependent. Let us not talk about embargo. Economic embargo would sometimes be a suicidal policy. For instance, I would not mention name, a foreign minister from a country in Europe said to me that his country lost two billion US dollars soon after the economic embargo placed on Russia. He said his country would not know what to do because small counties in Europe does not have freedom. I said then they are worse than ASEAN, in which, big or small, poor or rich, we speak out. Farmers in his country used to sell produces to Russia. When the embargo went into effect, Russia ignored their products. They could not sell. They lost two billion USD. It is the boomerang effect of embargo policy. They should stop playing it.
Conserving Forest, Water Reservoir and Planting More Trees
From a bird eyes’ view, I see conserved forests. I also see the reservoir. Please make the reservoir deeper because water will be important for trees. As for trees remained in the farms, I would urge the company to grow more […] The company contributes to building a Primary School of Chheb, a Primary School of Sa Ang, a Secondary School of Tbeng Meanjei … These are what people will benefit from integration and harmonization between investment and people living around. I would be grateful if Rui Feng could do more in the fields of education and health. People with good education and health would help Rui Feng’s production line. I am sure you will do more in health and education in the province of Preah Vihear.
Thank China for Releasing Lancang Water for Third Time
… Through HE Ambassador Bu Jianguo, allow me to express my sincere thanks to the People’s Republic of China, who in the last week, released water into the Mekong river for the third time to provide water to countries in the lower Mekong part – Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. I am also suggesting that Thailand and Laos leave some water to get to Cambodia and Vietnam. The weather this year is harsh. The heat wave soars to 40 degree and even 42 degree Celsius in Stoeng Treng province. However, we do not have lethal incident from it yet. What happened here last night caused some injuries. Yesterday night, we also have incidents in Kompot and Mondulkiri. Strong wind will persist for sometimes to come. We must be vigilant. Along with strong wind comes rain with hail in our country and some countries suffered seismic activities. I am calling on our people to take precaution on possible fire that is destructive to their houses, farms or forest./.