CAMBODGE EXPRESS – NEWS: What to remember from the news in Cambodia from November 14 to 20?

Gavroche has selected for you some salient news in Cambodia during this past week. An essential overview of the news for anyone interested in this Southeast Asian country.

Politics, Diplomacy

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has canceled his trip to Thailand to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit after testing positive for COVID-19.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn and the ASEAN Presidency’s special envoy for Burma on Friday (November 18th) welcomed the recent mass release of prisoners by the Burmese military junta. In a statement, Mr. Sokhonn considered that this decision of the SAC was an important gesture in the right direction to create an environment conducive to the launch of a process of dialogue between all the parties concerned in Burma.

Economy

The government of Cambodia has issued a decree to officially introduce new 200 and 2000 riel banknotes from November 14, 2022. The 200 riel banknote was previously seen in the tenth issue of banknotes in 1992-93.

Cambodia officially launched the Phnom Penh Logistics Center (PPLC) project for 200 Million USD during the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and related summits. The PPLC project is part of the infrastructure master plan (2022-2030), for a total amount of USD 50 billion. The PPLC aims to facilitate Cambodia’s integration into regional and global supply chains and contribute to long-term economic growth. YCH Group and Worldbridge Group (of Oknha SEAR Rithy) had signed an agreement in May 2022 for the development of this megaproject as part of the framework agreement signed between the Cambodian Ministry of Public Works and Transport and YCH Singapore in March 2021. Construction is expected to be completed by early 2027.

Cambodian fragrant rice Pkar Rumduol was recognized on November 17 as the best rice in the world for the year 2022, during the World Rice Conference organized by The Rice Trader, held in Phuket, Thailand. Cambodian rice has won this title 5 times: in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018 and in 2022. Between January and October, Cambodia exported 509,244 tons of rice, up 10.6% compared to 2021, for a value of 324 M USD. Fragrant rice represents 70% of these exports. The first customers for Cambodian rice are China and the European Union.

The Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture and the Chinese General Administration of Customs signed a protocol on November 9 on the phytosanitary rules to be respected when exporting pepper from Cambodia to China. This signing marks an important step in diversifying the market for this agricultural commodity and ending Cambodia’s dependence on Vietnam or other neighboring countries for its pepper exports to the Chinese market. In the first 8 months of this year, pepper exports reached 7,335 tons, down 70% year on year. Vietnam was the biggest buyer during this period with 6,468 tonnes, or 88% of the total.

Company

Phnom Penh Municipal Gendarmerie said that on the afternoon of November 17, 2022, Pich Srey Mom, a high-ranking businesswoman, was arrested by Phnom Penh military police at 11:30 a.m. 2022 in Borei Vorachon in Koh Pich, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh. The arrest warrant was issued by Mr. Chreng Khmao, Prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, ECCC No. 480, and is dated 28 October 2022 in connection with a case of breach of a negotiated instrument, led by Deputy Prosecutor Kim Hong San. The latter would have defrauded several million dollars.

An investigative judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has issued a detention order for two military officers accused of falsifying public documents and using falsified public documents for an $8 million fraud. In accordance with the detention order issued by the investigative judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Yi Sok Vuoch, the two defendants were arrested by the criminal police department and will be detained in this prison.

Cambodian Ministry Official Arrested in US for Monkey Trafficking
The Deputy Director of the Department of Wildlife and Biodiversity of the Cambodian Forestry Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Masphal Kry, 46, has been arrested in the United States and accused of complicity in the introduction of wild macaques to long tail in the United States.

Tourism, Culture

The government of Cambodia has spent approximately $26.5 million to build the first two national vocational schools for tourism, in Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk. Of this total amount, $14.5 million came from the Royal Government budget and $11 million was provided by the French Development Agency (AFD). During a meeting with Sandrine Boucher, newly appointed director of AFD, on November 17, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon indicated that the National School of Vocational Training in Tourism in Phnom Penh plans to open a construction site of a kindergarten in Preah Sihanouk province on 24 November.

The Cambodian Royal Palace, the most popular tourist spot in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, will reopen to the public from December 1 after being closed for more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic and international tourists will be allowed to visit the Royal Palace from December 1, 2022.

The Ministry of Education announced that Guinness World Records has recognized the 24 hour 10 minute and 30 second circus show performed by the artists of Phare Ponleu Selpak on March 7, 2021 as the “longest running circus show”. According to the ministry, the non-stop circus show is the longest in the world. It was produced on March 7 and 8, 2021 by 90 artists.

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