Norwegian Diplomat: Cambodia Faces A Challenging Task

Cambodia is facing a natural resource boom,
prompting donors and non-government organisations (NGOs) to warn that without
measures to improve financial transparency, promote better governance and curb
corruption, the potential windfall could be squandered.
    “It is
not necessarily a blessing for a country to be endowed with petroleum resources”,
Arne Walther, a Norwegian diplomat said. Norway is cited
by many as a success story in terms of how to handle the issues raised by an
influx of petro dollars.
    “It is
how governments arrange for their resources to be extracted and how revenues
earned are used that determine the success or failure of being a petroleum
endowed state”, Walther said. “I believe Cambodia faces a challenging task
in planning and developing its petroleum sector and developing policy and
instruments for channelling the future oil and gas revenues in a best possible
way for the benefit of Cambodians. It is actually a momentous task.”
    “We realise
the opportunities that petroleum revenues may afford us to improve the
livelihoods of the Cambodian people,” Deputy Prime Minister Sok An told
the gathering. “The translation of the capital value of oil reserves into
the stored capital value of our people through improved health and social
conditions and education is very important for the long term prosperity of Cambodia.”

 

 


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