Korea helps US$3.5 million on Science and Technology in Cambodia

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By Sok Lak

The Ministry of Planning and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) of the Republic of Korea on June 24 signed a Record of Discussion of project called “project for the Establishment of Cambodia’s National Science and Technology Master Plan 2014-2020” with total estimated budget US$3.5 million which is grant aid from the Republic of Korea at the office of the Ministry of Planning.
The Grant Aid agreement signed by H.E. Chhay Than, Senior Minister of Minister of Planning Ministry and H.E. Shin Ei Cheol under presidency of H.E. Chang Ho Jin, Ambassador of Republic of Korea to Kingdom of Cambodia.
H.E. Chhay Than said since 1997, the relationship between Cambodia and Korea is getting closer and closer. Now Korea becomes a major partner on tourism, investment sectors and other fields.
The project is to contribute to the sustainable socioeconomic development of Cambodia through the establishment of the National Science and Technology (S&T) Master Plan, which will guide domestic research and development (R&D) infrastructure building, capability expansion, and government research projects. Moreover, it will help improve the quality and quantity of human resources for the development of national R&D programs, and build an S&T information system for effective diffusion of knowledge among S&T policy-makers and related entities both in public and private sectors in order to foster economic development.
He mentioned that Science and Technology which focus on infrastructure, telecommunication, and capability expansion become important resource for Cambodian people in improving develop country.
He stressed that Cambodia’s National Science and Technology Master Plan 2014-2020 is an important compass which is strategy to show activities planning priority of project which will compete in the next step. “This master plan will become a key to develop country economy,” H.E. Chhay Than said.
H.E. Chang Ho-jin said that Cambodian economy is growing very fast, as close partner and close friend to Cambodia, Korea is trying to take part in helping to develop Cambodia. Since 2003, Korea’s grant aid to Cambodia annually about US$2.3 million and increase sharply to US$15 million while the volume of concessional loans amount to 289 million. Korea is increase both sides cooperation to be better and better.”
The ambassador highlighted brief measures to ensure project work effectively such as (1) project for the establishment of national science and technology master plan is effective on developing infrastructure for national research and development as well as other government researches project; (2) this project will focus on developing human resource for research and development and expand infrastructure and communication system to strengthen science and technology capacity and (3) it is nice opportunity of Korea to share developmental experience and knowledge in term of research and development on science and technology.  
Within three years from 2011 to 2013, the project was planned to (1) establish National S&T Master plan that focuses on the research and development in three such as core industries as Agriculture, Industry Infrastructure, and Information and Communication Technology sectors; (2) dispatch Korean Experts to Cambodia for the establishment of the Master Plan; (3) provide equipment related to S&T system and ICT infrastructure; and (4) invite related Cambodian government officials to joint training in Korea.
This project is a crucial factor to allow Cambodia to acquire technology and knowledge related to national science and technology, and it is a meaningful opportunity for Korea to share its previous experience and knowledge on national science and technology, while fostering strong partnerships and cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Since 1991, the total volume of KOICA’s grant aid to Cambodia has been scaling up to $ 68 million, covering a wide range of areas such as infrastructure, agriculture & rural development, health, education sectors as well as cross-cutting sectors such as environment, democracy, civil society, gender, public administration, etc including “good governance” which is the core value of the Rectangular Strategy.
Course: The Southeast Asia Weekly, June 26-July 2, 2011, Vol. 5, Issue 26, Page 3

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