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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Vietnam-Cambodia trade fair in Phnom Penh to open in November

Nhan Dan - The Vietnam-Cambodia International Trade Fair will be opened in Phnom Penh on November 3.

The fair is jointly organised by the Defence Ministry and Ministry of Trade and Industry of Vietnam and the Defence Ministry and Ministry of Trade of Cambodia.

The event is part of the national trade promotion programme in 2007. The fair is aimed to create opportunities for enterprises of the two countries, including military-owned businesses, to promote trade, introduce their products, boost economic co-operation and investment.

The fair will also help strengthen the solidarity and traditional friendship between the people of Vietnam and Cambodia.

The fair closes on November 6.

At the press briefing on October 2 in Hanoi, the Defense Ministry also announced its participation in another international trade fair “Socio-economic development in the Central Highlands – International Economic Integration” to be held in Buon Ma Thuot city in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, from December 14-18.

The fair is jointly organised by the Defence Ministry, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the People’s Committee of Dak Lak province.
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Cambodian official visits Troy

By Matt Clower, The Messenger

The Senior Minister of Education for Cambodia met on Wednesday with leaders at Troy University to lay the groundwork for a possible educational partnership.

Dr. Kol Pheng, who also serves as chairman of the board of trustees for Pannasastra University of Cambodia, is the highest- ranking foreign official to visit the Troy campus. Kol said the main purpose of his visit was to find ways to improve the quality of education offered in Cambodia.

“We want to continue to improve our educational system and ensure we are keeping up with international standards,” Kol said.

To that end, Kol said he wants to see the formation of a 1-2-1 study program that will allow Cambodian students to come to Troy - the student would study for one year in Cambodia, two years in Troy, and then a final year at home.

The same program has been implemented successfully with several Chinese universities, said Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor of Troy University.

He said 1-2-1 is also soon to be implemented in Malaysia, as well.

“The model has been almost perfected in China, and we feel like we can replicate it almost anywhere there is an interested partner,” Hawkins said.

Kol said the training of teachers is of particular interest to Cambodia as the country looks to expand free public education for first through ninth grades.

There's hope that the partnership will work both ways, and Troy University education students will one day spend time in Camboida.

That goal is one Hawkins said he feels strongly about.

“Think about the view those students would have of the world and how much better they will be as teachers,” Hawkins said.

Pol said U.S. students studying in Cambodia would be able do research on issues unique to developing countries.

“We have a lot of emerging issues relating to economic development and different trends in our society,” Kol said.

Emerging from decades of violence under the Khmer Rouge, Kol said Cambodia is still trying to heal old wounds and move forward as a nation.

“For me, education and teaching about the past has been the way to promote healing and forgiveness and replace hate with love,” Kol said.

Following the meeting in Troy, Kol traveled to the Montgomery campus, where he was scheduled to meet with several other leaders from aross the state.

The meeting with Kol was arranged through the university's relationship with former U.N. Ambassador and Cambodian native Sichan Siv.

Siv spoke at the university's spring commencement in May 2007.

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Ethical Traveler begins campaign to stop child sex slavery in Cambodia

Four non-profit groups have come together this year to launch a campaign to help stop and bring about awareness of Cambodia’s child sex trade. Driven by Berkeley-based Ethical Traveler, the campaign will feature a letter-writing drive in the hopes to pressure the government to pass and enforce laws to protect minors. Global Exchange, Not For Sale Campaign and ECPAT-Cambodia will join Ethical Traveler in its cause. The letters will all be sent from travellers straight to Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism, urging him to use his name and influence to help abolish the now thriving sex slave industry.

"Cambodia relies on tourist dollars for much-needed foreign exchange," said Jeff Greenwald, Ethical Traveler's Executive Director. "Child sex tourism is a threat to the future of this developing nation, and to its appeal as a legitimate travel destination."

Victims of sex slavery are often treated as illegal immigrants in Cambodia and are sent to prison, whilst their traffickers go unpunished. The letter writing campaign aims to disrupt the attitudes and laws surrounding victims.

"We have created a simple, easy, and direct way for concerned people from around the world to write the government of Cambodia, urging it to take action to stop child prostitution," said Greenwald. "Tourism is a major economic force in Cambodia. By joining together, travelers can influence Cambodia to protect vulnerable children even as it protects its reputation as a world-class tourist destination."

For more information on this campaign, or to send a letter to the Cambodian Minister of Tourism, please visit http://www.ethicaltraveler.org/cambodia.
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