Cambodia Update: November 9, 2018

Cambodia Update: November 9, 2018
Authors: Jack Myint
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

November 13: 2018 TELMIN Business Mission Planning Call #2

December 4-6: 2018 Business Mission to the 18th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Cambodia Cracks Down on Counterfeit Medicine

On November 6, at the regional conference on “Combatting Falsified and Substandard Medicine” in Phnom Penh. Cambodia’s Ministry of Health signed a joint declaration with China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam that recognizes the threat posed by counterfeit medicine and commits the signatories to cracking down on its distribution. Concerns over the issue of counterfeit drugs have grown amidst a rising number of scams for fake medicine among Cambodian Facebook users, scams which pose both financial and health risks for citizens. Meach Sophana, head of the Interior Ministry’s Counter Counterfeit Committee, during the conference, called on people to be wary of medicine being advertised online and added that online distributors more often than not lack licenses, registration, and push products that have not been reviewed by the government. Mr. Sophana added that the Royal Government will investigate and take legal action against online distributors selling counterfeit and substandard medical products. Also speaking at the conference, Prime Minister Hun Sen told authorities to cooperate in locating counterfeit medicine and develop exchange programs to investigate supply chains and distribution companies to help identify criminals. The Prime Minister added that cooperation between state and local level governments and private institutions is critical in order to prevent the circulation of counterfeit medication.

ADB Calls on Cambodia to Embrace Digital Revolution

At a high-level seminar on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and regional cooperation, Jayant Menon, ADB lead economist on trade and regional cooperation called on the Cambodian Government to step up its efforts to align its institutions and policies with the 4IR, which Menon said is already having an impact on multiple aspects of Cambodian society and economy. He highlighted that developing nations such as Cambodia have the advantage to bypass traditional industrial development phases and take advantage of the technology that developed countries are utilizing, in a process Menon called “technological leapfrogging”. This process is particularly crucial for Cambodian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which make up a significant bulk of business and employment in Cambodia, as they work towards participating in regional and global trade. In so doing, he advised that the Cambodian government should place emphasis on investing in ICT infrastructure and pursuing educational reforms. Investment in ICT infrastructure can pave the way for technological innovation and speed up the country’s efforts to automate, digitize, and connect services. Pursing educational reforms that prioritize science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will help to train a new generation of skilled laborers, of which Cambodia is currently facing a deficit, and make way for a more vibrant, innovative, and knowledge-based economy.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
China lauds Cambodia
JICA continues to aid the Kingdom
Cambodia offers to resume search for US Vietnam War missing

National Affairs
Cambodia's Hun Sen eases pressure on unions, as EU sanctions threat looms
Cambodian strongman’s legitimacy challenged  

Customs
Cambodia talks fail to end trade sanction threat, EU says

Economics
Cambodian workers weigh the cost of EU’s stand on human rights
China will ‘try’ to buy more from Cambodia: official
Exclusive: Inside Cambodia’s financial revolution
SMEs set to boost the Kingdom’s economy
[Opinion] Why international brands want Cambodia to meet EU demands
Moody's warns of 'credit negative' if Cambodia loses EBA
China brings casino boom to Cambodian town – but doom to local businesses?
Cambodia calls EU trade threat 'extreme injustice'
Cambodia Faces Potential Economic Collapse

Energy
Combating climate change through industrial efficiency
Ling Hang plans recycling plant to convert solid waste into green energy in Cambodia
Comin Asia: ‘solar systems have the potential to be highly financially attractive’
Milestone solar deal reached
Cambodia needs solar to drive down electricity prices
Minister pushes for energy efficiency
The road is clear for solar energy in Cambodia, says UNDP director
Bentley's BIM solutions 'boon to substation projects'
Wind power in Cambodia is possible, says regional power producer

Food & Agriculture
Rising Cambodia’s livestock sector a lifeline for farmers’ prosperity
‘Positive impact’: Prey Lang forest app wins award
MOC issues halal certificates to nine companies
Ministry drafts directive to save Royal Turtles
Vietnam, Cambodia to enhance agro-forestry-fishery cooperation
Smartphones help to save forest in Cambodia

Health & Life Sciences
Cambodia breaks ground for China-funded hospital building
Declaration signed to combat fake medicine
Government tackles counterfeit medication
Smoking, obesity increases in line with prosperity: Health survey
China, Cambodia to up healthcare cooperation
Health officials asked to curb discrimination
No prescription means no pills
Malaria’s ticking time bomb
Kratie again hit by fatal poisonings
‘Toxic’ rice wine kills five in Kratie
Marijuana destroyed in Battambang, Takeo

ICT
Online harassment a rising concern
Report: Cambodia’s internet freedom slipping
Prep for digital revolution must start now, ADB official says
Transport Ministry to address potholes via app
Information Ministry combats fake news
Cambodia’s Coming AI Revolution
Experts quench technology fears
Connecting Cambodia the Smart way to achieve long-term sustainability
Report: Cambodia saw 140 per cent rise in tech startup investment in 2018
CMAC to use ‘smart’ dogs in demining

Infrastructure
Poipet Airport project resumes in Cambodia | Borneo Bulletin Online
Construction investment in Cambodia slows down in first 9 months - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Singapore, Cambodia JV to raise mixed-use project in Tuol Kork
Logistics firms demand lower fees
Kep province welcomes new water treatment system
Poipet Airport gets official approval
Standard for imported cars soon

Manufacturing
Cambodia’s Garment Manufacturing Industry
Kingdom sees 69 factories open
The Cambodian textile factory that craves 'normal'

Travel & Tourism
Cambodia, Thailand agree to cooperate on marine tourism
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

China lauds Cambodia Khmer Times 2nd Nov 2018
Vice-Chairperson of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee of China, Zhang Chunxian, affirmed that Prime Minister Hun Sen is admired and supported by the Chinese people. The two met at the Peace Palace on November 2, and after their meeting the minister attached to Hun Sen, Sry Thamrong, told reporters that Mr Zhang said that the Chinese people admire the premier and express their gratitude for him supporting China in regional and global issues. “… even though some western countries expressed a different opinion, over 15 million Chinese people support Samdech, know Samdech’s name and know clearly about Samdech.” Mr Zhang intends to ask the Chinese leaders to expand Chinese markets to Cambodian products. He recommended that Cambodia should find more markets in Japan and Russia because the products of Cambodia, especially the agricultural ones, are of high quality.

JICA continues to aid the Kingdom Phnom Penh Post 25th Oct 2018
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide Cambodia a $30 million grant for the fourth phase of a flood protection project and canal and sewer system improvements in Phnom Penh. The JICA programme officer Say Bora told The Post on Wednesday: “The Royal Government of Japan has signed and approved [this project which] takes three years. If there is no problem, maybe in the next two to three months, the project can proceed.” Affiliated Network for Social Accountability director San Chey said the project implementer who uses the grant should carefully consider the quality of the construction. “Don’t build anything that is easily broken, don’t do anything carelessly. [These types of projects] used to take many years – both constructing roads and sewers in Phnom Penh and the provinces,” said Chey. The Phnom Penh Municipality said the project includes installation of a master sewer network of 8.2km in Tuol Kork district, installation of a master sewer network of 4.4km in Daun Penh, and construction of an underground reservoir and pumping station in the park in front of the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

Cambodia offers to resume search for US Vietnam War missing Channel NewsAsia 13th Oct 2018
Cambodian leader Hun Sen has offered to resume working with a US programme that recovers the remains of American soldiers killed during the Vietnam War, as the premier seeks to defuse criticism of a flawed election. Hun Sen stated his intention to restart the "important" mission in a letter published on government mouthpiece Fresh News Saturday (Oct 13) and also shared on his official Facebook page. It was addressed to two US state lawmakers who visited Cambodia ahead of the vote earlier this year and who this month had written to Hun Sen about reactivating the project. The searches, which have recovered the remains of 42 American servicemen in Cambodia - dozens are still unaccounted for - were suspended in September 2017 as relations soured between the two countries. Hun Sen halted it after Washington stopped issuing visas to senior Cambodian officials in reprisal for the country temporarily refusing to take in Cambodian nationals deported from the US for committing crimes.

National Affairs

Cambodia's Hun Sen eases pressure on unions, as EU sanctions threat looms Channel NewsAsia 7th Nov 2018
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told his ministers to ease pressure on labour union leaders on Wednesday, after threats by the European Union to remove the Southeast Asian country's duty-free trading access. The EU began a formal procedure last month to strip Cambodia of its "Everything but Arms (EBA)" initiative, following a July general election that returned Hun Sen to power after 33 years in office and gave his party all parliamentary seats. In a speech to 20,000 factory workers on Wednesday, Hun Sen urged his ministries of justice and labour to speed up or drop any pending court cases against union leaders. )

Cambodian strongman’s legitimacy challenged   Asia Times 1st Nov 2018
Determined to put words into action, after decades of rhetorical statements concerning Cambodia’s human-rights violations, the European Union (EU) is set to implement its 13-point resolution passed in September. When Hun Sen attended a meeting with officials in Brussels last month for the first time, he failed to assuage the concerns of his country’s international “partner.” This means Cambodia’s status as a recipient of the EU’s special tariff concession under the scheme, known as “Everything But Arms,” will be revoked. Cambodia and Myanmar are the only two countries being met with waves of condemnation and threats of sanctions for their recalcitrant attitudes toward serious breaches of their respective international obligations on human rights. Consequently, both countries have been named, shamed and sanctioned.

Customs

Cambodia talks fail to end trade sanction threat, EU says Reuters 19th Oct 2018
Cambodia failed on Friday to allay criticisms of authoritarianism and rights abuses that threaten the country’s duty-free trading access to the European Union, the EU’s top diplomat said after talks with its premier. Brussels began a formal procedure this month to strip Cambodia of its special trade status, worth billions of euros a year, following July elections that returned strongman Hun Sen to power after 30 years in office and gave his party all parliamentary seats.

Economics

Cambodian workers weigh the cost of EU’s stand on human rights South China Morning Post 8th Nov 2018
Phong Sokhit, a rice farmer in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province, has long held out hope that the European Union (EU) would put pressure on his country to respect human rights. For years, the 59 year old and hundreds of others across the country have accused sugar companies of forcing them off their land – just one of a litany of human rights abuses, including child labour, blamed on the enterprises. About 40 per cent of the sugar produced in Cambodia is exported to the EU. Last month, the EU announced its intention to suspend its Everything But Arms agreement with the Kingdom, under which it waives tariffs for underdeveloped countries such as Cambodia.

China will ‘try’ to buy more from Cambodia: official Khmer Times 5th Nov 2018
China said it will endeavour to increase the volume of products it imports from Cambodia. In a meeting last week with Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh, Zhang Chunxian, vice-chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said Cambodian products have “great potential”. “China’s market is huge, so I will tell our Minister of Commerce and other Chinese leaders to try to open the Chinese market to more Cambodian products,” Mr Zhang said. Cambodia now exports bananas, maize, cassava, and milled rice to the East Asia economic giant, according to figures from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture. However, there are plans to negotiate the trade of other agricultural products, including mango, longan, durian, dragon fruit, pepper, and coconuts.

Exclusive: Inside Cambodia’s financial revolution GovInsider 4th Nov 2018
Cambodia has done much to reform its economy since the fall of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, increasing foreign investment and inculcating a property boom in the capital city, Phnom Penh. Now, it seems set to reform another pillar of its economy, building up a fintech sector. Mobile phones will play a big role in bringing banking to citizens all across Cambodia, especially in rural areas, believes Chea Serey, Assistant Governor and the Director General of the National Bank of Cambodia. The country’s mobile connectivity rate is the highest in Southeast Asia: 173% of the population have a SIM card or mobile phone. “A baby who’s not born yet already has a subscription”, she says. In an exclusive interview with GovInsider, Chea shares the national bank’s vision for mobile payments in rural Cambodia; tackling corruption in government payments; and improving financial inclusion for women.

SMEs set to boost the Kingdom’s economy Phnom Penh Post 2nd Nov 2018
More than 100 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were registered during the first three quarters of this year, and officials expect the government’s tax incentive policy for SMEs to boost growth, said a Ministry of Industry and Handicraft report. The SMEs – 105 of them – were registered in the first nine months, bringing the total to 155,745 and creating more than one million jobs, said the report. The ministry’s director-general of the SME department Laim Kim Leng said the increase in registered SMEs was due to the government’s policy to decentralise SME registrations. “We expect that the number will keep growing next year since we have tax exemptions as well as a decentralised registration policy,” said Kim Leng, who continued that SME registration will profit the owner with tax exemptions, technical training and financial access.

[Opinion] Why international brands want Cambodia to meet EU demands EU Observer 1st Nov 2018
Earlier this month, the European Union put Cambodia on notice that its preferred trade status is at risk. EU trade commissioner, Cecelia Malmstrom, announced that the EU is reviewing Cambodia's eligibility for this preference, which has allowed Cambodian textile and apparel products to enter the European market duty-free. The EU's review focuses attention on the larger political picture in Cambodia and especially on the government's decision to ban the main opposition party prior to the country's July elections. But Cambodia's deteriorating respect for the rights of workers also will be an important part of the EU's review process.

Moody's warns of 'credit negative' if Cambodia loses EBA The Cambodia Daily 31st Oct 2018
Cambodia’s potential loss of its Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade access to the European Union (EU) would weaken its economic growth and lead to a credit negative, Moody’s Investors Services has cautioned. With a B2/stable sovereign rating, it would undermine the price competitiveness of its garment exports unless they are offset by productivity gains. In a recent report, Moody’s said rising costs will make the country less attractive as a production base and could weaken foreign direct investment, a contributor to its economic stability. Competition from regional rivals also poses a significant threat, global news wires reported citing the document.

China brings casino boom to Cambodian town – but doom to local businesses? Channel NewsAsia 20th Oct 2018
It used to be a sleepy town in south-western Cambodia, popular with backpackers for its beautiful beaches. But in the past two years, Sihanoukville has seen nearly three dozen Chinese-run casinos spring up, with another 70 under construction – all in an area that is a tenth of the size of Singapore. Thanks to China’s Belt and Road initiative, this coastal town has been reshaped into a casino hub – with tourism numbers, foreign investment and the economy all booming. But not everyone is happy with the rapid development. Restaurant owner Vuth Ung lamented how his business has suffered, as Chinese tourists and investors prefer to dine in the newly opened Chinese-run restaurants. “All their income they want to give back to the Chinese people,” he complained. Chinese investment has transformed Sihanoukville into a mini Macau, with not only casino resorts but also industrial parks, creating jobs for the local community. But in a town being overrun by glitz and glamour, local businesses are struggling to stay in the game, as the programme The New Silk Road discovers.

Cambodia calls EU trade threat 'extreme injustice' Aljazeera 11th Oct 2018
Cambodia's foreign ministry on Thursday said a decision by the European Union to ramp up trade pressure on the country over human rights concerns was an "extreme injustice", adding it risked destroying decades of development in the country. The EU last week said Cambodia would lose its special access to the world's largest trading bloc as a response to human rights concerns surrounding a July election that extended Prime Minister Hun Sen's three-decade rule. "The Cambodian government can only take this decision as an extreme injustice when the EU blatantly disregards the considerable progress made by the country, despite its recent tragic past," Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. "By implementing these withdrawal measures, the European Commission risks negating 20 year's worth of development efforts." The EU announced that Cambodia would lose its special access to European markets under the so-called Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme after it conducts a six-month review of Cambodia's duty-free status.

Cambodia Faces Potential Economic Collapse VOA 10th Oct 2018
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is facing economic pressure to reverse a recent crackdown on opposition groups and basic freedoms in his country. Cambodia faces an economic collapse from the slated withdrawal of crucial European Union trade preferences that will likely force its leader to walk back a prolonged political crackdown, observers and labor groups say. The EU told Cambodia on Friday it will lose duty-free access to the world's biggest market within 12 months for its "blatant disregard" of human and labor rights standards attached to trade preferences it is granted as a developing nation. Unless the government takes significant actions to redress an autocratic backslide including reinstating the country's banned opposition in the next six months, the "Everything But Arms" (EBA) preferences will be withdrawn.

Energy

Combating climate change through industrial efficiency Khmer Times 31st Oct 2018
The TEST programme, which aims to fight the effects of climate change by helping corporations adopt efficient and environmentally friendly processes, was launched yesterday in Phnom Penh.

Ling Hang plans recycling plant to convert solid waste into green energy in Cambodia The Phnom Penh Post 30th Oct 2018
A highly diversified Ling Hang Investment Development Co Ltd plans to venture into waste management and currently holding high-level talks with officials to build a recycling plant in Phnom Penh.

Comin Asia: ‘solar systems have the potential to be highly financially attractive’ Southeast Asia Globe 24th Oct 2018
Comin Khmere, the Cambodian arm of international solutions provider Comin Asia, has enjoyed booming business in the Kingdom by installing large-scale solar projects for clients across the country. Southeast Asia Globe spoke to Comin Asia’s regional operations director Michael Freeman to discuss the business end of the company’s renewable energy projects

Milestone solar deal reached Khmer Times 24th Oct 2018
Shanghai-based Jinko Solar, one of the world’s leading solar module manufacturers, will participate in the construction of what will become the Kingdom’s largest solar plant by supplying more than 200,000 solar modules to local firm SchneiTec Group.

Cambodia needs solar to drive down electricity prices PV Magazine 23rd Oct 2018
According to the UNDP, a full economic evaluation of the costs and advantages of solar energy in the country is necessary, as Cambodia’s government is planning to expand its power system through coal and hydro.

Minister pushes for energy efficiency Khmer Times 23rd Oct 2018
Environment Minister Say Samal yesterday urged people to use energy more efficiently and enjoy benefits such as lower costs and a greener environment.

The road is clear for solar energy in Cambodia, says UNDP director Southeast Asia Globe 19th Oct 2018
Nick Beresford, country director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Cambodia, discusses the state of Cambodia’s energy sector, the hope of solar, and bringing electricity to everyone

Bentley's BIM solutions 'boon to substation projects' Trade Arabia 13th Oct 2018
Bentley Systems, a leading provider of advancing infrastructure solutions, said greenfield and brownfield substation projects can reap design collaboration and construction benefits from the building information modelling (BIM) and realty modelling.

Wind power in Cambodia is possible, says regional power producer Southeast Asia Globe 12th Oct 2018
As the world increasingly opens up to renewable energy, Southeast Asia Globe speaks to Olivier Duguet, CEO and co-founder of the Blue Circle, a renewable independent power producer based in Southeast Asia, to find out more about the region’s future energy path. The company has already begun work on a wind farm in Ninh Thuan province in South Vietnam – one of the largest in the region – and has its sights set on creating a similar farm in Cambodia.

Food & Agriculture

Rising Cambodia’s livestock sector a lifeline for farmers’ prosperity Phnom Penh Post 19th Oct 2018
Cambodia’s sluggish livestock industry that was once shrouded in profound poverty is now being commended as a sunrise business. It may even take the shine out of the garment sector, the Kingdom’s major revenue generator, if only the livestock industry players maintain the growth momentum. There are reasons to support the new-found optimism ‑ enterprising livestock producers could eventually alter the rural poverty dynamics. Cambodia’s 16 million people are consuming more meat due to rising income and poor rural livestock producers are shifting from producing for their own needs to trading, due to vibrant market demand – thus reshaping the once backyard industry into a flourishing commercial business. The country’s animal production numbers are impressive as well. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 2016-2017 Report, the total animal production was 40.3 million heads in 2015, but a year later it rose to 42.18 million heads – buffaloes production jumped by 41 percent, swine grew by 7.07 percent and poultry increased by 3.52 percent.

‘Positive impact’: Prey Lang forest app wins award Phnom Penh Post 17th Oct 2018
Danish researcher Ida Theilade has been bestowed the University of Copenhagen’s Innovation Award 2018 for inventing a smartphone app that can prevent illegal logging and preserve forest resources in the Prey Lang forest.

MOC issues halal certificates to nine companies Khmer Times 16th Oct 2018
The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has granted halal certifications to nine businesses that implemented the halal standards based on Islamic laws, said a media release from the Cambodian Halal Secretariat yesterday. The Cambodian Halal Secretariat said about 23 companies and enterprises applied for the Halal Certificate from the Cambodian Halal Steering Committee at the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

Ministry drafts directive to save Royal Turtles Khmer Times 15th Oct 2018
The Agriculture Ministry’s Fisheries Administration is drafting a directive to turn more sections of the Sre Ambel river system into conservation zones for Royal Turtles following successes reported by the Wildlife Conservation Society and administration monitoring teams in existing zones.

Vietnam, Cambodia to enhance agro-forestry-fishery cooperation Nhan Dan 13th Oct 2018
The meeting between Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Xuan Cuong, and Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Veng Sakhon, took place within the framework of the 40th meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) and the 18th AMAF Plus Three (AMAF+3) meet-up in Hanoi. They reviewed their cooperation outcomes and expressed their wish to step up bilateral ties. Minister Cuong said that agriculture plays an important role in holding up the economy of each country. The two agriculture industries also complement each other well and as such, Vietnam will provide the best possible support for each side to develop. Minister Veng Sakhon appreciated Vietnam’s technical assistance for Cambodia’s agricultural sector, noting that cassava prices in his country are falling sharply due to the spread of disease. Cambodia hopes that Vietnam will further assist its market to deal with disease of the cassava plant and increase the buying prices of cassava in border areas.

Smartphones help to save forest in Cambodia ScandAsia 10th Oct 2018
University of Copenhagen, Danmission, the IT company Web Essentials and local peacebuilding organizations in Cambodia have developed an app for smartphones that helps protecting the forest. The app “Prey Lang App” makes it easy for local forest patrols in Cambodia to geo-reference, document, and upload data about forest resources and illegal logging.

Health & Life Sciences

Cambodia breaks ground for China-funded hospital building Xinhua Net 7th Nov 2018
Cambodia on Tuesday broke ground for the construction of a new building in the China-Cambodia Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital in Phnom Penh.

Declaration signed to combat fake medicine Khmer Times 7th Nov 2018
The Ministry of Health yesterday signed a joint declaration with five regional countries recognising the threat of counterfeit medicine and committing itself to preventing its distribution.

Government tackles counterfeit medication Khmer Times 6th Nov 2018
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said the government will crack down on counterfeit medication, noting they pose a threat to people’s health and that online sales have been on the rise.

Smoking, obesity increases in line with prosperity: Health survey The Jakatar Post 3rd Nov 2018
The number of early smokers and obese people, as well as chronic, non-infectious disease sufferers in Indonesia is increasing according to the country’s latest basic health survey.

China, Cambodia to up healthcare cooperation The Phnom Penh Post 1st Nov 2018
Officials in China’s Jiangsu province say they will cooperate with Cambodia on healthcare as Sino-Cambodian relations are “at the highest point”, with bilateral trade reaching $5.5 billion last year.

Health officials asked to curb discrimination Khmer Times 1st Nov 2018
Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the Health Ministry to monitor hospitals providing free medical check-ups and treatments to garment workers.

No prescription means no pills Khmer Times 29th Oct 2018
Phnom Penh health officials are appealing to pharmacies to avoid selling medications to customers lacking prescriptions.

Malaria’s ticking time bomb Nature.com 10th Oct 2018
To eliminate malaria, public-health officials are trying to cover the region with volunteers and health workers who can dispense malaria drugs promptly, and report any signs of an upsurge. They are also looking to researchers for tools that can forestall drug resistance, technologies that improve detection of the parasite, and evidence on strategies for rooting it out. The pressure is on. “Everybody has fears of malaria resurgence,” says Myaing Nyunt, a malaria researcher at Duke Global Health Institute in Durham, North Carolina. She worries that donors will tire of the cause, and that the people in the Greater Mekong region will grow to resent the obsession with malaria when they have more pressing needs. Yet if the effort lets up, malaria will roar back.

Kratie again hit by fatal poisonings Khmer Times 22nd Oct 2018
Sambo district, Kratie province – Authorities here have banned villagers from making and selling rice wine after five people died and many others were hospitalised due to methanol poisoning.

‘Toxic’ rice wine kills five in Kratie The Phnom Penh Post 22nd Oct 2018
As of Sunday, the death toll from toxic rice wine consumption in Kratie province had increased to five. Forty others remain hospitalized, the provincial health department said.

Marijuana destroyed in Battambang, Takeo The Phhom Penh Post 17th Oct 2018
Authorities in Takeo and Battambang provinces destroyed a total of 4,282 marijuana plants in separate raids this week.

ICT

Online harassment a rising concern Khmer Times 8th Nov 2018
A report by LIRNEasia yesterday showed that 26 percent of internet users have experienced online bullying, unwanted sexual advances and stalking. The report showed that online harassment was higher among women and that most occurred on the social media platforms Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Report: Cambodia’s internet freedom slipping Phnom Penh Post 6th Nov 2018
Althought still ranked “Partly Free”, internet freedom in Cambodia is slipping, says a report by Freedom House, a US-based democracy, political freedom and human rights watchdog. But the deputy secretary of the Ministry of Justice said the report “did not reflect the truth”. The report found that Cambodia was among 26 countries that had dropped on its scale, while 19 had seen internet freedom improve. It said Cambodia had intensified a crackdown on online dissidents, with arrests made over political commentary on social media and news sites. Cambodia scored 55 on the scale in which 0 is “Free” and 100 “Least Free”. Over the past five years, the Kingdom has been slipping – from a score of 47 points in 2013 and 2014, 48 points in 2015 and 52 points in 2016 and 2017.

Prep for digital revolution must start now, ADB official says Khmer Times 4th Nov 2018
The government should start refashioning its institutions and policies as soon as possible to adapt to the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), which is already impacting all aspects of Cambodian society in ways that are hard to anticipate, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) economist said Friday. Speaking at a high-level seminar on 4IR and regional cooperation, Jayant Menon, ADB lead economist on trade and regional cooperation, said 4IR is transforming social, economic, and political systems in unpredictable ways.

Transport Ministry to address potholes via app Khmer Times 2nd Nov 2018
The Public Works and Transport Ministry on Wednesday announced that it will launch a mobile application for residents throughout the Kingdom to report road damage. The announcement was made during the launch of a truck driving school on the same day by Transport Minister Sun Chanthol, who said that the ministry is now preparing “Road Care”, a mobile application that residents can utilise to report potholes by taking a picture and sending it to the ministry.

Information Ministry combats fake news Khmer Times 26th Oct 2018
The Information Ministry yesterday called on journalists to combat fake news disseminated online during a workshop on “Combatting Fake News for Cambodian Journalists” in Phnom Penh. Sponsored by the United States embassy in Cambodia and organised by Thmey Thmey news, the workshop aimed to educate journalists on how to prevent and combat the spread of fake news.

Cambodia’s Coming AI Revolution Pulitzer Center 25th Oct 2018
Much of the debate about the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the labor market has focused on the way emerging technologies might displace human labor. But they could also enhance and develop a workforce such as Cambodia’s. “Data-enabled digital technologies such as AI are a huge opportunity for countries like Cambodia, where skilled labor is in short supply, to access expertise being developed elsewhere,” said Dr Ekkehard Ernst, chief of the Macroeconomic Policy Unit at the International Labor Organization. In Malaysia, Dr. Helmi Zakariah, CEO of the locally-developed AI epidemiologist AIME, described how the technology had leveled out local inequalities in access to specialist skills. “Epidemiology is a specialism within public health in Malaysia that struggles to recruit for a number of reasons,” Zakariah explained. “But when districts have unequal access to expertise for managing resources and developing strategy, this can create regional health inequalities. AIME allows districts that don’t have their own epidemiologists to benefit from sophisticated analysis.”

Experts quench technology fears Khmer Times 24th Oct 2018
An IT revolution is simmering in the global sphere, aided by experts in tech-related fields who are looking into the possibilities of the future, particularly those presented by Artificial Intelligence (AI). We are living in exciting times. What the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Internet of Things (AIoT) will do for us in the future is a question that many are asking now.

Connecting Cambodia the Smart way to achieve long-term sustainability Phnom Penh Post 23rd Oct 2018
Mobile telecommunications operator, Smart Axiata Co Ltd is moving beyond rolling out latest mobile technologies in the Kingdom. After creating a strong brand name, it is now blending sustainable growth and social responsibility to spearhead its future growth. “Sustainable growth” has become Smart’s mantra and its concentrating far beyond short-term profits. As large corporations re-engineer themselves to tackle perennial challenges from climate change, natural resources scarcity, pollution, gender inequality to green energy and environmental degradation — Smart has all of them prioritised on its corporate agenda. “Sustainability is an essential part of Smart’s strategy, it continues to be central to our operations, guided by how we manage our long-term impact on the triple bottom of the economy, environment and society,” said Smart’s Chief Executive Officer Thomas Hundt at the launch of the company’s ‘Sustainability Highlights 2017’ in Phnom Penh last Friday.

Report: Cambodia saw 140 per cent rise in tech startup investment in 2018 e27 21st Oct 2018
By Q2 2018, Cambodia had seen at least 12 tech startup funding announcements, which was exactly a 140 per cent increase from at least five in the previous year, according to a new report on the kingdom’s tech ecosystem by Mekong Strategic Partners and Raintree Development. Launched during the inaugural Cambodia Tech Summit 2018 in Phnom Penh today, the report also detailed the kingdom’s tech startup landscape by category, with fintech leading as a popular sector with more than 50 active startups operating. Examples of such startups are Morakot, Banhji, Pi Pay, BongLoy, and SmartLoy.

CMAC to use ‘smart’ dogs in demining Khmer Times 17th Oct 2018
The Cambodian Mine Action Centre is training intelligent dogs, equipped with cameras and communication systems, to detect landmines and cluster munitions in demining operations. CMAC director-general Heng Ratana yesterday said that the organisation is cooperating with APOPO, a demining organisation that uses rats, to carry out the programme. He noted that they are studying ways to train the dogs and equip them with cameras, sound systems and remote communication systems.

Infrastructure

Poipet Airport project resumes in Cambodia | Borneo Bulletin Online Borneo Bulletin 24th Oct 2018
The Poipet Airport development project, abandoned for more than 10 years, will resume construction in 2020 as the city welcomes more Chinese nationals, said provincial authorities. Hotel investment firm Holiday Palace began construction of the airport in 2007 and laid runway foundations before it was suspended, apparently due to the 2008 global financial crisis that also affected Cambodia. State Secretariat of Civil Aviation spokesman Sinn Chanserey Vutha said on Monday that the project, funded by local investors, will cost about USD50 million. He said the project is currently in the review stage and plans to resume construction in 2020 and open in 2023. “Because the economy in Poipet is now doing well, the company has applied for permission to resume the construction,” Vutha said, adding that the airport is designed for domestic flights only. “The government does not have plans to build an airport in Poipet town, but as the private sector sees its potential, they applied for permission to build there and we agreed,” he said. Cambodia Association of Travel Agents advisor Ho Vandy said building new airports would help attract more air travel and revenue for the state.

Construction investment in Cambodia slows down in first 9 months - Xinhua | English.news.cn Xinhua 18th Oct 2018
Cambodia's construction sector attracted a total investment of 4.82 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months of this year, down 14 percent over the same period last year, according to the latest report on Thursday. Released by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, the report said the ministry had granted licenses to 2,541 construction projects on a total area of nearly 10.8 million square meters during the January-September period this year. It said currently, there are 228 locations of new towns and residential complexes in the capital Phnom Penh and the Southeast Asian nation has 1,088 high-rise buildings (between five and 54 floors). Some 1,070 construction and home design companies are operating in the kingdom, generating about 220,000 jobs, it added.

Singapore, Cambodia JV to raise mixed-use project in Tuol Kork Khmer Times 2nd Nov 2018
HLH Development Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of publicly listed Hong Lai Huat Group Limited, yesterday entered into a joint venture agreement with local conglomerate Royal Group of Companies to launch a mixed development project in Phnom Penh. The project, which will feature a park and a retail mall, is located in the heart of Tuol Kork district, one of the most affluent areas in the city, near the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Logistics firms demand lower fees Khmer Times 30th Oct 2018
At the behest of the local logistics sector, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is urging international shipping companies to consider reducing, or even dropping, fees that have inflated costs for local firms.

Kep province welcomes new water treatment system Khmer Times 26th Oct 2018
A new water treatment system, donated to local authorities by Malaysian firms, will enhance the quality of drinking water in the riverine city of Kep. The new equipment, given as a donation by Watermech Technologies Co., Ltd and Isza Water Utilities Co., Ltd, was launched recently in a ceremony presided over by Minister of Industry Cham Prasidh.

Poipet Airport gets official approval Khmer Times 23rd Oct 2018
A project to build Poipet’s first airport has been greenlighted by the government, with total investment estimated at $40 to $50 million, according to the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation. Aiming to capitalise on the rising number of tourists in a province that is industrialising quickly, the new airport will be built on more than 100 hectares in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet, in the border with Thailand.

Standard for imported cars soon Khmer Times 18th Oct 2018
The Cambodian government plans to standardise the import of automobile especially second-hand cars to ensure quality and safety for the end-user is not compromised, said a senior official from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport yesterday. Pov Maly, secretary of state for the ministry told reporters after a meeting yesterday that so far, Cambodia has not set any standards on the import of second hand cars and engines despite the constant influx of these vehicles in the country.

Manufacturing

Cambodia’s Garment Manufacturing Industry ASEAN Business News 1st Nov 2018
ambodia is strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia. The country is bordered by Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, and has the Gulf of Thailand to its south-west. The country is popular for providing a low-cost manufacturing base for several industries. Among the many advantages that the country offers to investors are duty-free access to some large and developed markets, a stable economy, and several government incentives. Additionally, there are several special economic zones exclusively established to promote manufacturing across the country. In this article, we briefly discuss the chief characteristics of the garment manufacturing industry in Cambodia and the advantages it offers to foreign investors. Cambodia’s garment manufacturing industry is largely export-oriented and highly integrated into global supply chains. The European Union (EU) represents the largest market for Cambodian garment exports, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the total manufacturing, followed by the United States ( 30 percent), Canada (9 percent), and Japan (4 percent). Many companies in the country operate as contract manufacturers for major multinational brands such as Adidas, Gap, H&M, Marks & Spencer, and Uniqlo.

Kingdom sees 69 factories open Phnom Penh Post 1st Nov 2018
Cambodia's garment industry saw 69 new factories open in the first nine months of this year. But 32 others closed during the period, said a Ministry of Industry and Handicraft report. Ministry spokesman Oum Sotha who voiced no concern over the possible removal of Cambodia from the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme, said factory openings and closings were normal in business. However, he was quick to add that the growing trend of factory openings reflected the Kingdom’s investment potential. “The number of factories keeps growing, that means our country’s economy is lucrative for investors. We can maintain this as long as we have good political stability and attractive policies for foreign direct investment,” he said. The report showed that a total of 129 new factories were opened in the first nine months, among which 69 were garment factories. It also said a total of 40 factories were shut down, among which 32 were garment factories. This left a total of 18,645 workers unemployed.

The Cambodian textile factory that craves 'normal' Reuters 1st Nov 2018
Boring is best when it comes to business – or so says Piet Holten, a Dutch entrepreneur who credits “normal” working conditions for helping to grow his textile factory in Cambodia. The Southeast Asian nation is a hub for textile factories supplying global brands, but the sector is plagued by problems of exploitation and abuse. Holten said his staff get benefits such as childcare and work in environmentally-friendly buildings - utterly normal in many countries; equally rare in Cambodia. “I don’t believe what we are doing is exceptional, just the norm,” said Holten at his factory in Siem Reap, Cambodia’s top tourist destination and home to the famed Angkor Wat temples. He is president of Pactics Group Ltd, a Hong Kong-registered company that had a turnover of $7 million last year, making products for the eye-wear giant Luxottica, which supplies brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Versace.

Travel & Tourism

Cambodia, Thailand agree to cooperate on marine tourism Khmer Times 16th Oct 2018
Cambodia and Thailand have agreed on marine tourism cooperation linking the tourism ports of the two countries, while Cambodia asked its Thai counterpart to open more border gates to facilitate the flow of tourists.