On Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, May 5-6, 2021, the Governmental Negotiations on Development Cooperation 2021 between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany was held. The Cambodian delegation was led by His Excellency Chhieng Yanara, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister, Secretary General of the Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board of the Council for Development of Cambodia (CRDB/CDC) along with the participation of senior, and technical officials from 18 ministries and agencies. The German Side was led by His Excellency Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) accompanied by His Excellency Christian Berger, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Kingdom of Cambodia, Ms. Gisela Hammerschmidt, Director and Commissioner for Asia of BMZ, Ms. Bettina Horstmann, Head of the Division for East Asia and South East Asia of BMZ, co-chaired of this negotiation, and senior officials of the German Embassy, GIZ, KfW, and PTB approximately 70 participants in total. This Governmental Negotiations was held in virtual mode in Phnom Penh and Bonn City.
The main purposes of the negotiations were to review and discuss the progress of bilateral cooperation and the new commitment of the German government for 2021-2022. In the meantime, both sides also exchanged views and discussed various themes of bilateral development cooperation both technical and political aspects for future orientation of German development cooperation in Cambodia.
The Negotiation was conducted successfully in the spirit of constructive and equal partnership in cooperation. As a result, both sides mutually agreed on the three core areas of bilateral development cooperation namely (1) Peaceful and inclusive societies, (2) Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs, and (3) Responsibility for our planet – climate and energy, which are well-aligned with the national priorities of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and the BMZ 2030 Agenda.
In this year negotiation, the German government committed to provide up to EUR 53 million, equivalent to USD 63 million, in grants to support Cambodia’s poverty reduction and livelihood improvement efforts for 2021-2022. This comprises of EUR 26 million for the Financial Cooperation and EUR 27 million for the Technical Cooperation. In addition, in March 2021, the German government provided EUR 4.8 million in grants for the Technical Cooperation. Including the commitment during this Negotiation, the total volume of assistance has increased to EUR 57.8 million, equivalent to USD 69 million.
Notably, in response to the global health pandemic, the German government has provided up to EUR 14.3 million, equivalent to USD 17 million, to support Cambodia’s COVID-19 response as of March 2021. These funds were contributed to the emergency response measures toward the impact of COVID-19 and the economic recovery measures of the Royal Government. In addition, Germany also provided assistance through regional and global programs. Contributions to International Financial Institutions, the United Nations, and the EU complement the total development cooperation budget of Germany.
At the end of the two-day negotiations, both sides highly value the progress of democratic process and the rule of law in Cambodia and the progress of bilateral development cooperation in line with the fast changing of global economic context for the future bilateral cooperation. In this occasion, on behalf of the RGC, His Excellency Chhieng Yanara, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister, Secretary General of CRDB/CDC, expressed his sincere gratitude and thanks to the German government and its citizens for the continued support and contribution to the sustainable and inclusive development of Cambodia.