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Monday, January 22, 2007

France donates over 124 mln euro to Cambodia

France has donated 124.5 million euro (some 161.5 million U.S. dollars) for Cambodia to promote its work in various sector from 2006 to 2010, an official told Xinhua here on Monday.

"The finance will be used for help Cambodia upgrade its work in the sectors of health and anti-HIV/AIDS missions, education, agriculture, court and law system, environment and bio-diversity, food security, French language study, irrigation system, restoration of ancient temples in Angkor Wat complex, training of Cambodian judges, scholarship for Cambodian students to study in France," said Ros Simara, director of Information Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

About 4.5 million euro (some 5.8 million U.S. dollars) of the fund will be going for Siem Reap to optimize its tourism layout to facilitate influx of more foreign visitors.

The donation was made recently when Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Nam Hong met with a French delegation, she said.

The deputy prime minister also requested the French to help Cambodia develop its rubber plantation sector, she added.

Source: Xinhua Read more!

Bomb substance for Bangkok blast not from Cambodia: Official

The chemical substance for making the bombs of the Bangkok explosion on the eve of the new year is not from Cambodia, government spokesman Khieu Kanharidh said here on Monday.

Thai people could buy the chemical substance for making the bombs in their own country, they did not have to buy them from Cambodia, said Kanharith, who is also Information Minister.

Thai security authority should show the evidence while telling out the powder provider for the blast that killed three and injured about 40 Thai people, he said.

Cambodia has been cooperating closely with other countries to fight against terrorism and other criminal acts, he added.

The minister made his remarks after a Thai security agency official told an Australian Newspaper that the Jihad Islam (JI) terrorist group bought the chemical substances in Cambodia to make the bombs of the New Year's Eve explosion.

Source: Xinhua Read more!

Experts: Cambodia Needs Tourism Overhaul

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Cambodia should not rely on its famous Angkor Wat temple complex to sustain its tourism industry, and should be looking to develop other destinations as well, officials said Monday. Cambodia has so many beautiful things that could be developed as tourist places.

The advice was given by tourism experts at the launch of a booklet meant to encourage tourists to stay longer to enjoy other attractions that Cambodia has to offer beside its centuries-old monuments.

The country's tourism sector has been developing rapidly in the past few years, becoming a major source of income for the cash-strapped Southeast Asian country. About 1.7 million tourists visited Cambodia last year, roughly a 20 percent increase over 2005.

About half of the visitors went to see Angkor temples in Siem Reap province, Cambodia's main tourism hub.

"One never can take rising streams of tourists for granted," Daniel Haas, first secretary of the German Embassy in Cambodia, said at the launch of the "Stay Another Day Cambodia" booklet.
"Having a wonderful attraction like Angkor Wat is no guarantee that tourists will keep coming to Cambodia," he said, noting the country has attractions beyond its historic culture.

The booklet features products and services including eco-tours, local cuisine and cooking classes, traditional massage, visits to development projects, orphanages, rehabilitation centers, artisans and the concerts of master musicians.

Kate Lloyd-Williams _ tourism program manager of the Mekong Private Sector Development Facility, which produced the booklet with sponsorship from Germany _ said most tourists simply "fly away" after touring the temples, buying some souvenirs and taking some pictures.

"As we all know, tourists spend less time and money in Cambodia than they do in neighboring countries," she said. Read more!

Japan donates 10.5 mln USD for Cambodia to develop economy

Japan has donated 10.5 millions U.S. dollars to Cambodia to help it construct infrastructure and improve its economic structure adjustment, Deputy Prime Minister Hor Nam Hong said in Phnom Penhon Monday.

"This grant aid will be used for the detailed design of the execution of the project for flood prevention and drainage improvement in Phnom Penh and the improvement of the economic structure adjustment efforts by the Royal Government of Cambodia, said Hor, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

"The finance can help develop the Cambodian economy and social development," Hor added at a press conference held at his ministry.

Earlier, Hor and Japanese Ambassador Fumiaki Takahashi signed the exchange of notes about the extension of the grant aid in presence of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Meanwhile, Phnom Penh Governor Ke Chu Tema told reporters that later this year Japan is expected to offer 22 million U.S. dollars for Phnom Penh to build riverbanks, flood prevention facility and drainage system.

Since 1993, Japan has extended more than 142 million U.S. dollars of non-project grant aid to Cambodia to help solve its economic difficulties, according to official statistics.

Source: Xinhua Read more!