From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report. In June, Cambodian Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol spent a week in the United States.
The commerce minister told Americans about the willingness of Cambodia’s government to make ‘deep’ reforms to improve conditions for investment. He said the reforms would lower costs for investors. He said transportation and energy costs would be reduced. He also said the government would improve the skills of Cambodians through training.
Mr. Sun Chanthol said the new political will to make reforms is the result of the general elections last year. In the voting, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party lost a number of seats in parliament. The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party disputed the results. It said cheating was to blame.
Alex Feldman is president and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council. He says that investor interest in Cambodia has grown over time. But he says investors need to see more evidence of reform. Mr. Feldman says Cambodia should continue to improve roads, ports and other infrastructure. He says the country also has to improve the skill base of its citizens and fight corruption.
In 2013, Transparency International named Cambodia the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia. Sun Chanthol says the Cambodian government has taken major steps toward reform. These include passing an anti-corruption law and creating an agency to fight corruption.
Storm Tiv works for the Asia division of Human Rights Watch. He admits that anti-corruption efforts have increased. But he says a lack of openness about the process will make them ineffective.