Australia has launched a flagship $58 million program, Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development (CAP-RED), to support the country’s agriculture and infrastructure.
CAP-RED has benefitted more than two million rural Cambodians, the Australian Embassy said in a news release on Friday, adding it was developed after comprehensive consultations with the public and private sector on the best way to help the Cambodian economy recover after Covid-19.
CAP-RED will support the Cambodian government and other relevant counterparts to develop policies that drive inclusive, resilient and sustainable economic growth.
Australian Assistant Minister for Trade and Assistant Minister for Manufacturing, Tim Ayres, and Vongsey Vissoth, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, launched CAP-RED at a ceremony on Friday.
“This year marks the 70th anniversary of Cambodia-Australia diplomatic relations and CAP-RED is further evidence of our long-standing and ongoing partnership with Cambodia. We look forward to sharing knowledge and expertise with our Cambodian counterparts to create an enabling environment for investment, productivity and trade,” said Ayres.
Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Economy and Finance, said CAP-RED is a key contribution to the economic development agenda, supporting recovery, resilience and reform. The program will encourage inclusive public and private investment to help grow a more diverse and inclusive economy, he added.
The Australian Embassy said that through the partnership, a significant number of households, especially from rural Cambodia, are expected to have their livelihoods improved, with a special focus on women, girls, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and vulnerable groups.
To achieve this, the program will work closely with relevant ministries and related stakeholders in three areas to drive growth, infrastructure services, agriculture and agro-processing, and trade, investment and enterprise development, the embassy said.
There will be a strong emphasis on research and knowledge sharing, as well as on gender equality, disability and social inclusion, it added.
Ayres also joined Pan Sorasak, Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce, to officially launch the Cambodia-Australia Consumer Protection Partnership (CACPP) in Siem Reap province.
The embassy said the program is a three-year partnership between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Cambodian Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) aimed at building and strengthening the capacity of Cambodian officials to support the effective implementation of consumer and competition laws.
This program complements and strengthens Australia’s broader work under the ASEAN-
Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and is part of the $155 million
Mekong-Australia Partnership initiative to help Mekong countries recover from Covid-19, the embassy added.
Activities include building investigation and external engagement skills, developing investigation tools and supporting Cambodia’s implementation of the Consumer Law 2019 and Competition Law 2021.