A Change of Guard

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Friday, 28 December 2012

U.S Ambassador: The reasons American investors did not invest in Cambodia is because of human rights and lawlessness issues in Cambodia អាមេរិក​មិន​មក​វិនិយោគ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា​ដោយសារ​បញ្ហា​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​និង​នីតិរដ្ឋ

ដោយ វណ្ណ វិចារ 2012-12-26  RFA
Supporting Cambodia’s Economic Development
Published: 23-Dec-12  By William E. Todd, U.S ambassador to Cambodia
William e todd
William E. Todd
Thank you for the many interesting questions in response to my “Ask the Ambassador” column.  Please continue to send me your questions at AskAMBToddPP@state.gov.

Last week, I traveled to Singapore to promote U.S. investment in Cambodia.  Two weeks prior, I was in Bangkok doing the same thing.  I plan to go on similar trips in the region next year.  Why am I taking these trips?  What do I hope to accomplish?   Quite simply, I am working on expanding the middle class in Cambodia.  A strong middle class is the best engine for developing the economy and reducing poverty.  In the United States, the growth of the American middle class gave average working people a stake in the economy and civil society.  Instead of living hand-to-mouth, middle class Americans began to think about the future – we saved money for retirement, we made sure our children received a quality education, and we made sure the government was responsive to our needs.  America is often called “the land of opportunity” because, no matter how humble your beginnings, you will have the chance for a livable wage and decent schools for your children.  It was the growth of the middle class that made this possible.

How do we expand the middle class in Cambodia?  In one sense, expanding the middle class is like a jigsaw puzzle – you need all the pieces to fit together in order to have a complete picture.  The first piece lies in creating the right conditions for economic growth.  The Cambodian government has made significant progress in laying the foundation for growth by creating a relatively pro-business environment.  Cambodia, for example, allows 100 percent foreign ownership of businesses, exemptions from export taxes, duty free imports of capital goods, favorable corporate tax policies, and a liberal policy on work permits for expatriate personnel.  These policies, although a good start, still need to be taken further.  To help develop recommendations on how the Cambodian government could improve the business environment to further open the Cambodian market to foreign investment – particularly through regulatory and legislative changes– I have formed a team comprised of Embassy personnel and members of the American Chamber of Commerce.

The second piece of the puzzle is developing the country’s human capital.  While people often point to Cambodia’s substantial timber reserves and petroleum resources, its greatest asset is its youth.  With nearly 70 percent of the population under 35 years of age, Cambodia has a large and growing supply of labor.  If the labor force expects to reach the middle class, it will need greater skills.  The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars on training and education for Cambodian citizens to lay the foundation for middle class development.  For example, USAID’s Improved Basic Education in Cambodia project is helping the Cambodian government develop a school curriculum to benefit over 140,000 students,with 5,600 students receiving scholarships to support their lower secondary education.  The U.S. government also has about 115 Peace Corps volunteers in Cambodia, who are training primary and secondary teachers as well as working to build the capacity of healthcare professionals in the provinces.  By focusing on education and training, we will help Cambodia’s labor force migrate to higher-wage, higher-skilled jobs that will expand the middle class.

The final piece of the puzzle is bringing these higher-skilled jobs to Cambodia. Without good-paying jobs that allow ordinary Cambodians to buy everyday consumer goods like food, housing, and clothes, the Cambodian economy faces a formidable challenge in reaching the next stage of development.

One reader has asked, “Why don’t huge U.S. corporations invest in Cambodia?”  My trips to Bangkok and Singapore were meant to find an answer to this question and to encourage regionally-based and sizeable U.S. companies to expand their operations to Cambodia.  I gave speeches to U.S. business chambers, met individually with scores of businesses ranging from computer manufacturers to oil companies, and led a business roundtable.  At every opportunity, I pointed out that Cambodia has a lot to offer U.S. businesses looking to get in on the ground floor of a surging market. While the growth rates of many countries in Southeast Asia are flattening, Cambodia is far from reaching its peak.

But like putting together any jigsaw puzzle, knowing what the pieces are and actually fitting them together are two very different things.  Cambodia needs to appreciate the importance of how human rights, open political discourse, and rule of law fit into the investment and middle class mosaic.  A more open political space, greater transparency, and less corruption would benefit the entire country by encouraging foreign investment.  If Cambodia can take substantial, concrete steps towards resolving these issues, it will mean more investment from U.S. companies and from businesses the world over.  Remember, it is not what you say, but rather what you do that is important.Or as my high school Latin teacher would often tell me acta,non dictum, which means “deeds, not words.”

As we can see, the expansion of the middle class and the number of higher-paying skilled jobs are vital factors to economic growth in Cambodia.  Please accept my heartfelt wishes for a happy holiday and thank you all very much for reading my column.  As always, you may send your questions to me in English or Khmer at AskAMBToddPP@state.gov,and of course, you can follow my blog at http://blogs.usembassy.gov/todd/.

William E. Todd is U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia
មូលហេតុ​ដែល​បណ្ដាល​ឲ្យ​សាជីវកម្ម​ក្រុមហ៊ុន​ធំៗ របស់​អាមេរិក មិន​មក​វិនិយោគ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា គឺ​ដោយសារ​ការ​គោរព​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស និង​នីតិរដ្ឋ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា នៅ​មាន​កម្រិត​នៅ​ឡើយ។

RFA/Den Ayuthyea
ឯកអគ្គរដ្ឋទូត​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក​ប្រចាំ​កម្ពុជា លោក វីល្លៀម ថត (William Todd) [ឆ្វេង] ផ្ដល់​បទសម្ភាសន៍​ដល់​អ្នក​កាសែត នា​ខេត្ត​បាត់ដំបង កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២០ មិថុនា ឆ្នាំ​២០១២។

ចំណុច​ទាំង​នេះ​ត្រូវ​បាន​លាត​ត្រដាង​ជា​សាធារណៈ​ដោយ​ឯកអគ្គរដ្ឋទូត​ អាមេរិក​ប្រចាំ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា លោក វីល្លៀម ថត (William E. Todd) នៅ​ក្នុង​គេហទំព័រ​របស់​លោក​ប្រចាំ​សប្ដាហ៍​កន្លង​ទៅ​នេះ។
មន្ត្រី​ឯកអគ្គរដ្ឋទូត​អាមេរិក​រូប​នេះ​ឲ្យ​ដឹង​ថា លោក​ជួប​ក្រុម​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​ជា​ច្រើន​របស់​អាមេរិក​នៅ​ប្រទេស​ថៃ និង​សិង្ហបុរី ដើម្បី​ណែនាំ​ឲ្យ​ពួកគេ​មក​វិនិយោគ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា ប៉ុន្តែ​ពួក​គេ​ឆ្លើយ​ថា មិន​ទាន់​មាន​ជំនឿ​ចិត្ត​ក្នុង​ការ​វិនិយោគ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា នៅ​ឡើយ​ទេ។
តាម​រយៈ​គេហទំព័រ​ជួប​ពលរដ្ឋ​កម្ពុជា ប្រចាំ​សប្ដាហ៍ គឺ​ថ្ងៃ​អាទិត្យ ទី​២៣ ឆ្នូ អគ្គរដ្ឋទូត​អាមេរិក លោក វីល្លៀម ថត មាន​ប្រសាសន៍​ថា លោក​បាន​ធ្វើ​ដំណើរ​កាល​ពី​ដើម​ខែ​ធ្នូ ទៅ​កាន់​ប្រទេស​ពីរ​ដែល​ជឿនលឿន​ផ្នែក​សេដ្ឋកិច្ច គឺ​ប្រទេស​ថៃ និង​សិង្ហបុរី ក្នុង​គោលបំណង​ស្វែង​រក​ចម្លើយ​របស់​សំណួរ​ដែល​សួរ​ថា ហេតុ​អ្វី​សាជីវកម្ម​ធំៗ​របស់​អាមេរិក មិន​មក​រក​ស៊ី​នៅ​កម្ពុជា?
លោក​បន្ត​ថា តាម​រយៈ​ទស្សនកិច្ច​ទាំង​នោះ​គេ​រក​ឃើញ​ចំណុច​ខ្លាំង និង​ចំណុច​ខ្សោយ​របស់​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា លើ​ផ្នែក​បរិយាកាស​វិនិយោគ ធនធាន​មនុស្ស និង​ព្រម​ទាំង​ការ​នាំ​មក​នូវ​ការងារ​ដែល​ត្រូវ​ការ​ជំនាញ​ខ្ពស់​មក​ កម្ពុជា៖ «ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ត្រូវ​ផ្ដល់​តម្លៃ​ដល់​សារសំខាន់​នៃ​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស វេទិកា​នយោបាយ​បើក​ចំហ និង​នីតិរដ្ឋ​នៅ​ក្នុង​រូប​ផ្គុំ​នៃ​ការ​វិនិយោគ និង​វណ្ណៈ​កណ្ដាល។ ឱកាស​នយោបាយ​បើក​ចំហ​តម្លាភាព​ច្រើន និង​ការ​ថយ​ចុះ​នៃ​អំពើ​ពុករលួយ​ផ្ដល់​ជា​ប្រយោជន៍​ដល់​ប្រទេស​ទាំង​មូល ដោយ​វា​លើក​ទឹក​ចិត្ត​ការ​ដល់​វិនិយោគ​បរទេស។ បើ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា អាច​ប្រកាន់​ជំហាន​ធំដុំ និង​ច្បាស់លាស់​ក្នុង​ការ​ដោះស្រាយ​បញ្ហា​ទាំង​នេះ វា​នឹង​នាំ​អោយ​មាន​វិនិយោគទុន​ច្រើន​ពី​ក្រុមហ៊ុន​អាមេរិក និង​បណ្ដា​ក្រុមហ៊ុន​នានា​មក​ពី​ទូទាំង​ពិភពលោក។ ចូរចាំ​ថា អ្វី​ដែល​មាន​សារសំខាន់​នោះ​មិន​មែន​អ្វី​ដែល​លោក​អ្នក​និយាយ​ទេ គឺ​អ្វី​ដែល​លោក​អ្នក​ធ្វើ។ ដូច​ដែល​គ្រូ​បង្រៀន​ភាសា​ឡាតាំង​របស់​ខ្ញុំ​នៅ​វិទ្យាល័យ ឧស្សាហ៍​និយាយ​ថា “ការ​ធ្វើ​មិន​មែន​ពាក្យ​សំដី​ទេ”»

លោក វីល្លៀម ថត បន្ត​ថា លោក​ក៏​នឹង​មាន​គម្រោង​ទៅ​ធ្វើ​ទស្សនកិច្ច​ប្រទេស​នានា​បន្ត​ទៀត ដើម្បី​ទាក់ទាញ​វិនិយោគ​អាមេរិក​មក​កាន់​កម្ពុជា។ ប៉ុន្តែ​កម្ពុជា ក៏​ត្រូវ​កែប្រែ​ច្បាប់ និង​បញ្ញត្តិ​គ្រប់គ្រង​មួយ​ចំនួន​ដើម្បី​បើក​ចំហ​បរិយាកាស​វិនិយោគ​ដែរ។
វិទ្យុ​អាស៊ីសេរី មិន​អាច​ទាក់ទង​មន្ត្រី​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ដើម្បី​បក​ស្រាយ​ករណី​នេះ​បាន​ទេ នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២៦ ខែ​ធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ​២០១២។ យ៉ាង​ណា​ក៏ដោយ មន្ត្រី​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​កម្ពុជា មិន​ដែល​ទទួល​ស្គាល់​ថា ស្ថានភាព​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​នៅ​កម្ពុជា កំពុង​ក្លាយ​ជា​ឧបសគ្គ​ធំ​សម្រាប់​ឱកាស​វិនិយោគ និង​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​នៅ​កម្ពុជា នោះ​ទេ។ ហើយ​ប្រមុខ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​កម្ពុជា ថែម​ទាំង​បដិសេធ​មិន​ទទួល​យក​អនុសាសន៍​របស់​តំណាង​ពិសេស​ទទួល​បន្ទុក​សិទ្ធិ ​មនុស្ស​របស់​អង្គការ​សហប្រជាជាតិ​ថែម​ទៀត។
ទោះ​យ៉ាង​ណា​ក្ដី មន្ត្រី​អ្នក​នាំ​ពាក្យ​គណបក្ស សម រង្ស៉ី លោក យឹម សុវណ្ណ មាន​ប្រសាសន៍​ថា លោក​គាំទ្រ​ការ​លើក​ឡើង​របស់​អគ្គរដ្ឋទូត​អាមេរិក ព្រោះ​ថា កម្ពុជា​បច្ចុប្បន្ន​កំពុង​តែ​អនុញ្ញាត​ឲ្យ​ក្រុមហ៊ុន​វិនិយោគ​មក​រក​ស៊ី​ ដោយ​បំពាន​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស។ លោក​បន្ត​ថា សព្វ​ថ្ងៃ​កម្ពុជា ត្រូវ​ការ​វិនិយោគិន​ពី​អាមេរិក ជប៉ុន អូស្ត្រាលី គេ​នាំ​បច្ចេកវិទ្យា​គោរព​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស ដោយ​មាន​ការ​ការពារ​បរិស្ថាន គោរព​ច្បាប់​ទម្លាប់ ការ​មិន​ប្រព្រឹត្ត​ពុករលួយ​ជាដើម។
លោក យឹម សុវណ្ណ៖ «ខ្ញុំ​គិត​ថា រដ្ឋាភិបាល​គិត​ឃើញ​តែ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល គិត​ពី​ផល​ប្រយោជន៍ បក្សពួក​របស់​ខ្លួន​ច្រើន​ជាង​អ្វីៗ​ទាំង​អស់ ដូច​នេះ​អ្វី​ដែល​សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក​លើក​ឡើង​ហ្នឹង ត្រឹមត្រូវ​ណាស់ គេ​ចង់​ឲ្យ​យើង​បំបាត់​អំពើ​ពុករលួយ គេ​ចង់​ឲ្យ​យើង​គោរព​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស​ឲ្យ​បាន​ត្រឹមត្រូវ»
ការ​លើក​ឡើង​របស់​មន្ត្រី​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​អាមេរិក​នេះ ស្រប​គ្នា​ទៅ​នឹង​ប្រធានបទ​របស់​សង្គម​ស៊ីវិល​កម្ពុជា ដែល​និយាយ​ពី​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស និង​ធុរកិច្ច ដែល​បាន​ន័យ​ថា ការ​រក​ស៊ី​ទាំង​ឡាយ​ណា​ក៏​ដោយ​ត្រូវ​គិតគូរ​ពី​បញ្ហា​សិទ្ធិ​មនុស្ស។ តាម​របាយការណ៍​របស់​ក្រុមប្រឹក្សា​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​កម្ពុជា (CDC) បង្ហាញ​ថា ក្រុមហ៊ុន​សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក បាន​ទម្លាក់​ទុន​រក​ស៊ី គិត​មក​ដល់​ចាប់​តាំង​ពី​ឆ្នាំ​២០០០ ដល់​ខែ​មិថុនា ឆ្នាំ​២០១១ ក្នុង​ទំហំ​ទឹក​ប្រាក់​ជិត ៨០០​លាន​ដុល្លារ​សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក៕


Anonymous said...

As long as the US markets are still open for Cambodia made
products , China is very happy to monopolize the investment
and Hun Sen doesn't really care about US investment either
for he knows for sure that US is indirectly helping PPenh
government with MFN ( Most Favor Nations ) status .
All products , whether legal or not legal , are end up in US
consumers hands eg. rosewood were illegally sold to Vietnam or China then it is used to make furnitures which are sold for American living room ... Economic sanction is the effective
way to teach Cambodian ruler .

Anonymous said...

Workers continue strike at bankrupt US company
SVAY RIENG (The Cambodia Herald) - A strike by 2,000 workers at a bankrupt US-owned company entered its third day Thursday, sources said.

The sources said the workers at Svay Rieng (Cambodia) Garment Co Ltd, a manufacturer of hospital gowns, had a list of five demands.

The factory, located in Prey Pdao village in Chrouk Mtes district in Bavet City, has been shut for three days.

Anonymous said...

The stinky laws for business and trade with the international has been created and manipulated by Hun Sen's crooked Vietnamese advisers and comrades like Sok An, and other illegal Vietnamese administrators who speak, write and read Khmer language (but they are terrible to communicate in the Khmer language) and they enrich themselves without benefiting to Cambodian country and people.

We need to get rid all the Vietnamese operation and occupation in Cambodia. It is time to rebuild Cambodia and allow the Vietnamese masters in Hanoi and Vietnamese folks to pay the heavy prices for all the damages to Cambodia for more that three decades and beyond.

Vietnam is a thief or crooked country and nation and their Vietnamese leaders in Hanoi have been secretly controlling their stupid Vietnamese installed Prime Minister Hun Sen who has misled and destroyed Cambodian country and people until Cambodia is still under development today.

Anonymous said...

6:08 PM, I agree with you 100%. Many Cambodians, and especially Hun Sen and his supporters, forgot that America is Cambodia's biggest trading partners, importing about $3 billion of Cambodian-made garment made possible by MFN (most favored nation) status. This status exempts or charge very little import tariff on goods imported from Cambodia. As a result, MFN status has drawn investors to Cambodia, especially Chinese companies because America has imported quota on imports from China.

So, indirectly, America's MFN has drawn investors to Cambodia anyway, so in Hun Sen's eyes, Cambodia doesn't need to do direct business with America or doesn't need direct American investments because the MFN has drawn investors from other part of the world already, notably China.

The only way to soften Hun Sen's dictatorial rule is to imposed travel sanctions on all Hun Sen's family and his cronies like what America did with members of the Burmese junta. That travel sanctions imposed on Burmese officials really worked. What America can do with Hun Sen's and his cronies is to not issue any visas to Hun sen and his family and cronies found to have been the human rights abusers. America can also freeze their assets deposited in American banks around the world. If America failed to get tough with Hun Sen, he will never understand the diplomatic language and will still continue to practice human rights abuses and corruption in Cambodia. Tough actions, and not words, is the only and best way to deal with Hun Sen.

Anonymous said...

27 December 2012 10:07 PM,

Agree with you, but we have to be careful with the second Killing Fields coming from the secret Vietnamese agents. We are concerned.

We ask for the UN, EU, America or International Community to put sanctions first against Vietnam which is the one that has caused the major problems to Cambodia as well as Laos. Therefore, Hun Sen will be stuck without having his Vietnamese bosses in Hanoi to assist and protect him. So, Khmer people and Khmer armies will kill him and his secret Vietnamese crooks who works for him to collect wealth and destroy Cambodia's natural resources. America, EU, UN and International Community need to know this fact about the Vietnamese leaders who are behind all these problems and use Hun Sen as a hub serves Vietnamese bastards' interests by cheating, stealing, breaking the laws, creating lawless systems and human rights violations and beyond.

Communist Vietnam and Hun Sen should be punished and sanctioned, not putting sanctions against Cambodia. Cambodian people and armies did not cause the problem. Period!!!

Anonymous said...

27 December 2012 10:07 PM and the above need to think carefully, but not about the ways you talked as you opinionated.

Anonymous said...

It would be better for Cambodia and Cambodians to have American businesses doing direct business in Cambodia.
This way we can directly benefit from the advanced American expertise and technology.
The question is : Did Ambassador Todd discuss his facts findings and America concerns with Hun Sen directly ?
After all, Hun Sen had two of children to study in the United States, not China.

Anonymous said...

Hun maneth is Yuon Le duc tho's son with Yuon bunrany not Hun men's son.Now Hun Maneth is commander of khmer's army what a joke!?

Anonymous said...

American Middle Class is shrinking fast. American society is no longer considered to be the capitalism which is based on competition, but rather a Social Corporatism. Social Corporation is base on price gouging and profits for the few. The practice is inconsistent with competitiveness of the free market. Even its government is working for the so-call super-citizens. Because of this unfairness practice which allowed and implemented by the policy makers, the terminology “leave-it-to-the markets” has become useless. While Mom and Pop shops (small businesses) got blown up by corporations’ greed, the government bails out corporations and banks. By using Wall Street as an instrument to measure economic growths is purely incompetent and very much bringing up water to the nose for the middle class. Perhaps one day, the notion of “give me the liberty or give me death” can once again rise to the surface of the water.

The idea for the people, of the people, and by the people is dead. The American Middle Class is being ignored for so long to the point they are unable to pursue happiness. Their votes mean nothing. The left and the right are no difference. Their democracy is being hijacked by corporations. From shoes they wear for comfort to pills they take illness and everything else in between are dictated and manipulated by corporations. The battle has yet to come for the Middle Class, America already lost. Now it is not a matter of classes struggle any more but it is a matter of survival. Thus, the U. S. needs to ramify and to separate Corporations and Government just as they did with Religions and Government before they can dictate other what to do or what to believe. My view on Social Corporatism is as evil as Social Communism which should be used as the point lookout for Cambodians and the eyes opener for Americans.

The reason that American corporations could not penetrate and infuse into Cambodia is because Hun Sen Government does not play by their rules. It has nothing to do with human right issues in the country. Don’t do what I do, but do what I said does not work in Cambodia.

Anonymous said...

To 11:08 am,
Your writing ability is superb, but your thought and analysis are way off course.
Not because Hun Sen does not play by the
" American " rules, it is because Dictator and Traitor Hun Sen has been selling his country and himself to Yuon and the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Sam muk ah kwac heuy.