On Monday afternoon, 11 January 2021 at the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), 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) held a meeting with the representatives of European Union and European Partners in Cambodia (Czech, France, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland), led by Mr. Franck Viault, Minister Counsellor and Head of Cooperation Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia. The main purposes of the meeting were to discuss on the preparation for the upcoming on Consultation Meeting between the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and the European Union and its Partners on the new draft of the Joint European Development Cooperation Strategy for Cambodia 2021-2027 and the new draft of the European Union’s Multiannual Indicative Programme 2021-2027.
To start the meeting, His Excellency Chhieng Yanara warmly welcomed all representatives of the European Union and the European Partners to the meeting today at CDC. H.E. Minister highly valued the significant achievements of the implementation of the Joint European Development Cooperation Strategy for Cambodia 2014-2020 and the European Union’s Multiannual Indicative Programme 2014-2020, which have been contributed to the sustainable and inclusive development of Cambodia. On this occasion, H.E. Minister also expressed his sincere thanks to the European Union and its Partners for providing substantial support to Cambodia in response to the prevention of the COVID-19’s outbreak and the reduction of impacts on socio-economic in Cambodia.
The European Partners highly valued the success of the Joint Strategy, which have been contributed toward the four priority areas namely (i) Social development, (ii) Supporting sustainable and equitable economic growth, (iii) Urban and rural infrastructure development, and (iv) Governance and cross-cutting issues. This testimony of the European Union, its partners, and Switzerland’s firm commitment to continue supporting the development process in Cambodia. The European Partners also appreciated the excellent partnership and cooperation between all European Partners in Cambodia and CDC over the past years. At the same time, the European Partners informed H.E. Minister about the progress of the formulation process of the new draft of the Joint European Development Strategy for Cambodia 2021-2027 and the European Union’s Multiannual Indicative Programme 2021-2027, which will be finalized by the end of January 2021. These draft documents will be further discussed and gathered inputs and recommendations in the Consultation Meeting between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the European Union and its partners that is scheduled to be held during February 2021.
As a result, both sides agreed in principle on the new Joint European Union Development Cooperation Strategy’s priority areas which aligned with the Rectangular Strategy – Phase IV, including (i) Human resource development, (ii) Economic diversification, (iii) Private sector and job development, and (iv) Sustainable and inclusive development. On the other hand, for the new European Union’s Multiannual Indicative Program, a bilateral cooperation programme between European Union and RGC, both sides principally agreed to focus on three priority areas namely (i) Growth and jobs, (ii) Education and skills, and (iii) Good governance.
It is noticeably that from 1992 to 2020, the European Partners (European Union, its 10 partners, and Switzerland) provided support with a total of USD 4.2 billion, equivalent to 19%, of total official development assistance provided by all development partners to Cambodia.