Gavroche has selected for you some important news from Cambodia over the past week. An essential news review for anyone interested in this Southeast Asian country.
On Sunday (March 20), Japan pledged about US$428 million in aid and 1.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Cambodia through the COVAX global vaccine exchange program. These commitments are part of several agreements signed by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen during Mr. Kishida’s visit to Phnom Penh.
The Cambodian Ministry of Health will launch an educational campaign in the week of March 22 to raise public awareness about health protection and vaccination against the coronavirus. Or Vandin, a ministry spokesman and head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, said the fight against the Omicron variant is not over yet and while some members of the public appear to be concerned about the virus, others appear to have calmed down.
On March 20, the official number of new daily COVID cases (diagnosed by PCR test) was 97 – all from Omicron variants – bringing the total number of COVID cases to 134,986. Cambodia also announced 1 new death, bringing the total number of direct cases reached 3051. deaths from COVID-19 in Cambodia. Cambodia has 88 new community-acquired cases and 9 new imported cases of the new variant. There are currently 14,545 reported cases of omicron infection in Cambodia – 1,328 imported cases and 13,217 community cases. There are currently 972 active cases of COVID (diagnosed by PCR test) in the Kingdom.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China will provide an additional 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Cambodia.
Cambodian historical opponent Sam Rainsy, who is in exile in France, was sentenced in absentia in Phnom Penh on Thursday, March 17, to 10 years in prison on charges of trying to overthrow the country’s leader Hun Sen. He had already been sentenced a year ago to 25 years in prison in the same case. A co-founder of the National Salvation Party of Cambodia (PSNC), he has lived in France since 2015 to avoid lawsuits he sees as politically motivated.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia and the Asia Foundation have entered into a cooperation agreement to develop education in Cambodia. The agreement was signed by Education, Youth and Sports Minister Hang Chuon Naron and Asia Foundation Chairman David D. Arnold here in Phnom Penh on March 18.
The entry into force of Cambodia’s capital gains tax has been delayed by two years to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the property market as the government launches a series of economic stimulus programs. The Ministry of Economy and Finance said in a March 9 statement that the ministry had submitted a request to Prime Minister Hun Sen to extend the capital gains tax.
Cambodia’s government debt of $9.5 billion at the end of 2021 remains robust and poses a low risk of a debt crisis, according to a debt sustainability report from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Plans are being made to increase the number and quality of engineers to meet the needs of developers. The Minister of Labor of Cambodia, Ith Samhaeng, is implementing several projects to improve the engineering profession in Cambodia, both in terms of quantity and quality, in order to meet development needs.
Battambang Provincial Governor Sok Lu has asked the Japanese government to continue to encourage Japanese investors to invest or create a special economic zone to attract more local and foreign investors to the province.
World Bank Regional Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, Manuela V. Ferro, praised Cambodia’s effective response to COVID-19 and urged the country to increase investment in education as the economy recovers during her visit to the country from March 13 to 17.
New roads in Siem Reap will open in April. After completion in December 2021, 38 roads in Siem Reap will be opened by Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 4. Siem Reap Governor Thea Seiha said despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the provincial administration, with the support of the royal government, is focusing on the beautification of the city of Siem Reap. He said that the 38 roads, sewer systems, street lighting and cleaning of the Siem Reap River in the city are achievements of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Global fashion retailer H&M opened on March 19 in Cambodia, and fashionistas in Phnom Penh took the opportunity to shop at one of the most popular clothing stores in the world.
Tourism, culture, sports
The Cambodian government has decided to ease the conditions for entry into Cambodia. The requirement for a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival in Cambodia and a rapid test upon arrival at the airport has been abolished. In addition, the government has allowed the resumption of visa-on-arrival for all international passengers by air, land and sea. However, despite the removal of these requirements, travelers are advised to conduct a rapid self-test, and a 14-day quarantine remains for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers.
Singer Tep Beauprek’s “Top of the Lady”, whose music video cost over $150,000, won three awards at the 2022 Pleng Music Awards on March 19.
A British website named Angkor Wat in Cambodia as the best place in the world to watch sunrise and sunset. The site goes on to praise the Cambodian icon, stating, “The walk through the trees to the east gate and then to the main complex is magical—often empty at the early hour and birds singing at dawn. ”, — writes the columnist for Angkor Wat. The Cambodian temple complex has two and a half times more sunrise references than any other landmark in the world.