Jian Hua Daily, March 1, 2011
[Report from this newspaper reporter, Zi Xing] The Embassy of Japan in Cambodia and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) jointly held a two-day “ODA Press Tour Program” in order to better understand the roles of Japan’s aid programs in Cambodia. The Japanese well-known actress, Mrs. Kumiko Endo, also joined the activity in order to better understand the actual situation of aid programs of Japanese government in Cambodia.
The press delegation separately visited the Embassy of Japan in Cambodia, Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, AJINOMOTO Packaging Factory, Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Kampong Cham Provincial Teacher Training Center, Kampong Cham Hospital, and the Project for Rural Drinking Water Supply in Memut District of Kampong Cham Province funded by Japanese grant aid programs, etc.
The representative of the Embassy of Japan in Cambodia stated that Japanese government has begun to provide grant aid and ODA loan to Cambodia since 1991, in order to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between Japan and Cambodia and to help Cambodia improve infrastructure and economic development, making Japan to be one of the most important donors in Cambodia.
Mr. Yuji Imamura, JICA Expert to the Cambodian Investment Board of the Council for Development of Cambodia (CDC), said that from January 2011 to February 2011, there were more than 100 companies in total coming to ask for Cambodian investment information at “Cambodian Investment Information Center” which was set up by the Japanese government in CDC, including 17 companies who already came to invest with the total capital of up to 100,000,000 US dollars. He said that the stable politics and the potential labor force of Cambodia attracted foreign companies to invest in Cambodia.
Mr. Yuji Imamura revealed that from 1994 to 2010, Cambodia’s total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is 20,500,000,000 US dollars and the total domestic investment is 13,700,000,000 US dollars, equaling to the total investment of 34,200,000,000 US dollars. Among them, China’s total investment is 7,700,000,000 US dollars standing in the first place. Japan’s total investment is 148,000,000 US dollars. He revealed that the total foreign direct investment of Cambodia in 2010 is 2,690,000,000 US dollars.
Mr. Yuji Imamura said that Vietnam has more than 200 special economic zones in total, with 1200 companies investing in, but Cambodia has only 21 special economic zones; therefore, Cambodia needs to continue setting up economic zones to attract more foreign investments.
According to Ms. CARIE PHOU, Marketing Manager of Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, there are 26 companies in total from Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc., investing in this special economic zone, including 10 companies from Japan.
According to Mr. Ichiro Nishimura, President of AJINOMOTO Factory, who invested in building factory in this special economic zone, this company invested 6 million US dollar to build packaging factory and to install packaging equipments. He also said that the monthly demand of monosodium glutamate in Cambodian market is more than 2000 tons, and the average monthly sale by this factory is 1000 tons.
According to Mr. CHEA VISOTH, Assistant General Manager of Phnom Penh Water Authority, under the valuable assistance provided by the Japanese government, Phnom Penh Water Authority experienced a rapid development. Until now, it has 21,000 customers, making the water supply coverage provided by this department reaches about 90%.
Regarding the water supply coverage to reach 100%, Mr. CHEA VISOTH said because Phnom Penh capital has recently been added more than 20 communes, so he is not sure yet, but this department will make an effort to extend its water supply coverage so that all people in the city can access to 100% clean water supply.
During the visit of the press delegation at Kampong Cham Hospital, Mr. MEAS CHEA, director of this hospital, highly appraised the valuable assistance provided by Japan, especially the assistance to build new hospital and lane wooden bridge for this hospital.
He said, with these two large projects, it is very helpful in improving the living standard and public health of people in Kampong Cham province. He added that the hospital totally has 261 beds, and averagely there are 300 patients hospitalized daily, so additional beds are needed outside the hospital sickrooms. He said that there are 16015 patients hospitalized in 2010.
According to Mr. Masaaki Iwai, the representative of JICA Cambodia Office, Japanese government provided assistance on clean water supply project through this agency. Through this project, it has built 510 wells in remote areas in Kampong Cham province; the cost of one well is 10,000 US dollars. He said this project has improved the living standard of people living in this remote area, and improved the local public health situation.
While visiting Kantuot village, Choam Ta Mau commune, Memut District, Kampong Cham Province, Ms. Kumiko Endo was very excited because the four wells built under the assistance from the Japanese government actually improved the living standard of the local villagers. She said she will convey the development situation of Japan’s assistance to Cambodia to Japanese media.