The land of heroes
Our heroes
Our land
Cambodia Kingdom

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tobacco control policy to receive enormous support in Cambodia

A recent survey by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) showed that a tobacco control policy will receive enormous support in Cambodia, local media said on Wednesday.

Over 90 percent interviewers supported the government's adoption of a law on tobacco control, according to the survey of a sample of 144 staff members from the ministries of Education, Youth and Sport, Women's Affairs, and Defense across the country.

It also found that more than 96 percent of the respondents wanted a ban on cigarette advertising, reported Cambodian daily newspaper the Koh Santepheap.

The survey aimed to encourage the government to push for an immediate adoption of such a law, reported another Cambodian daily newspaper the Kampuchea Thmey.

According to official statistics, more than 70 percent of the Cambodian families spend over 10 percent of their incomes on cigarettes and a pack of locally produced cigarettes costs as much as one kilogram of husked rice.

The World Health Organization (WHO) once stated that each year about 5 million people die of tobacco-related diseases worldwide and the figure could increase to 10 million by 2020.

Source: Xinhua .
Read more!

Cambodia holds international conference on globalization and regional integration

The International Relations Institute of Cambodia (IRIC) held an international conference on globalization and regional integration in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.

Although the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were born in a different setting, they pursue a common goal, that's the establishment of an economic community through the integration of countries within their geographical region to reinforce their strong competitiveness, Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim said while addressing the opening ceremony of the conference.

ASEAN has made tremendous achievements by stimulating economic growth, however, it is facing many challenges such as globalization, economic disparity among members, political stability, democratization, the respect for human rights, poverty, the increased global warming, terrorism and transnational crimes, he said.

ASEAN members should establish a firm regional economic integration, broaden regional economic and financial market, and to establish linkages among ASEAN members to bridge the gap within ASEAN, he said, adding that the strengthened democracy and the drafting of ASEAN Charter should also be considered to reflect the genuine interests of both ASEAN and the international community.

In order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of EU, the 40th anniversary of the ASEAN and the first anniversary of the IRIC, the IRIC initiated the organization of this international conference under the theme "Globalization and Regional Integration ", a press release said.

The main objective of this conference is to highlight the importance, endeavors and achievement of EU, ASEAN and IRIC, as well as the relation between Cambodia and EU, Cambodia and ASEAN in accordance with the Cambodian government's policy of regional and international integration, it added.

Source: Xinhua .
Read more!

Essar looks to Cambodia

The Essar Group, which owns 33% of Indian cellco Hutchison Essar, is planning to launch telecom services abroad, reports the India Times. According to the paper’s sources the Essar Group’s maiden foray will be in Cambodia, where it is set to launch GSM-based mobile services soon, having reportedly finalised a joint venture (JV) with a local company.

A company spokesman said, ‘Some issues still have to be sorted out, like the allocation of spectrum. After settling these issues, the JV will apply for a licence with the Cambodian Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.’ The Essar JV is hoping to join an increasingly crowded market in Cambodia, competing with the three operational cellcos Casacom, Camshin and Mobitel, as well as South Korean-backed SLD Telecom and Vietnamese firm Viettel, who are planning to join the fray with the launch of commercial services in the near future.

Cambodia is seen as an lucrative emerging market on account of its poor telecom penetration. Its mobile market has been growing at an annual rate of 35% over the last two years, but there are only about 1.5 million subscribers, translating to a penetration of less than 10%. Additionally Cambodia has only 42,000 fixed line users and an even lower number of internet users. Telecom services are expensive in comparison to other countries in the region.
Read more!

Switzerland and Cambodia cement ties furtherAdd story to my swissinfo panel


Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey has held talks near Bern with King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia in efforts to strengthen ties between the two countries.

The discussions, also attended by Swiss Economics Minister Doris Leuthard, covered a wide range of bilateral relations as well as the issue of reforms at the United Nations.

The official visit follows one by Calmy-Rey to Cambodia in February, with the reciprocal trips marking 50 years of diplomatic ties between Bern and Phnom Penh.

Calmy-Rey told the Cambodian monarch that she hoped that the court set up to try serious crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979) would be able to start the first cases in the near future.

Switzerland supports the efforts to prosecute those responsible for atrocities and is to finance the work of an expert at the court - called the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – at its Office of Information and Awareness-Raising.

Gesture

Bern is making the gesture because it believes there is a need to make the objectives and activities of the court better understood by the people of Cambodia.

Tuesday's talks at a government residence near Bern also reviewed bilateral relations in the areas of cultural, economic and political affairs.

A Swiss foreign ministry statement noted that Switzerland supports development in Cambodia through several regional projects carried out by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco).

The discussions also focused on the new United Nations Human Rights Council and the working methods of the UN Security Council.

Although King Sihamoni's visit to Bern was official, the remainder of his trip is private.

Children's hospitals

He is to attend celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of the Kantha Bopha Foundation of Swiss doctor Beat Richner, who has built up children's hospitals in Cambodia.

The hospitals, which are now a mainstay of the Cambodian health system, were founded by Richner mainly from public and private donations from Switzerland. The Swiss government gives about SFr3 million ($2.45 million) annually.

During her February visit, Calmy-Rey visited the newest medical centre, which was inaugurated in December 2005. "My presence and our financial support are the proof of the esteem in which we hold you," she told a group of assembled medical staff.
Read more!

Tourists to Cambodia up 20 percent in first 4 months

Cambodia saw a 20-percent increase in the number of tourist arrivals for the first four months of 2007, compared with the same period last year, local media reported on Wednesday.

Some 710,000 visitors arrived between January and April and the majority were South Korean and Japanese, French language daily newspaper the Cambodge Soir quoted Tourism Minister Thong Khon as saying.

The rise stemmed partly from improved connecting roads with neighboring Vietnam and Thailand, and from better security and marketing efforts, he said.

"Although Japanese and South Korean tourists still take the lead in terms of numbers, we note that there has been a 70-percent increase in Vietnamese tourist arrivals and a 38-percent increase in Thai tourist arrivals," he said.

The newly-appointed minister stressed that the large number of Vietnamese visitors has also resulted from recent efforts to advertise Cambodia's tourist destinations in Vietnam.

Thong Khon added that Cambodia intends to draw 2 million tourists this year.

In 2006, Cambodia hosted approximately 1.7 million tourists, generating some 1.05 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

Tourism, together with garment production and agriculture, serves as a pillar industry for the kingdom.

Source: Xinhua .
Read more!