ADB, Cambodia Announce $500 Million Three-Year Partnership Strategy

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Cambodia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have forged a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2011-2013 which defines ADB’s strategic approach in Cambodia, in line with Government priorities. The CPS outlines an ADB resource investment plan of around $500 million.

ADB will contribute to reducing poverty through a dual focus on inclusive economic growth and social development and equity. “The Country Partnership Strategy sets out an ambitious roadmap to reach out to Cambodia’s poor with an integrated approach to rural development,” said Peter Brimble, Senior Country Economist of ADB’s Cambodia Resident Mission.

With nearly 75% of the population engaged in agriculture, a focus on competitive farms and agribusiness enterprises, and related rural infrastructure, will create jobs and raise incomes, and improve food security. ADB will continue improving irrigation systems to promote agricultural productivity in support of the Government’s Rice Production and Export Promotion Policy.

Strengthening urban–rural linkages, including transport links both within the country and with neighboring countries, will expand business opportunities. Investments in the finance sector, in trade facilitation, and in industry-relevant technical and vocational skills training will improve the business environment. Human capital will be developed through measures to achieve gender equity, expand rural water supply and sanitation, and widen access to quality secondary education. ADB will mainstream climate resilience activities into ongoing and new projects using recently approved funding from the global Pilot Program for Climate Resilience.

Underpinning all activities of the CPS is a strong focus on public sector management, including public financial management, decentralization and deconcentration (D&D), and public sector capacity development. Recognizing good governance (anti-corruption, public financial management, and procurement) as a key issue in Cambodia, a comprehensive Country Governance Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan was prepared to guide the preparation of sector and project level governance risk assessment and management plans during the CPS period.

“The new strategy will help the country to develop a vibrant private sector, to diversify the economy, and to integrate Cambodia into regional markets,” Mr. Brimble added. “We will work to leverage additional private sector finance into key projects through public-private partnerships.” In addition, ADB will improve cross border transport and trade facilitation along the Southern Economic Corridor linking Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City through Phnom Penh to promote market connectivity, competitiveness, trade and tourism activities within the Greater Mekong Subregion.