September 22, 2011

Eximbank supports Korea-Cambodia ties


The National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia
The Export-Import Bank of Korea has taken the lead in enhancing tie-ups for development projects between Korea and Cambodia.

Under initiative of chairman & CEO Kim Yong-hwan, the state-run bank met to map out further development of the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, Thursday.

After Korea Eximbank and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund of Korea pushed to enhance what was then a vocational training center by providing loans, the Cambodian government upgraded it to the status of a national college.

Participants in the meeting included about 50 senior officials from the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, Cambodian ministries and global NGOs.

“Participants discussed efficacy and the performance of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund as well as a future assistance plan,” a Korea Eximbank spokesman said.

The EDCF has offered the college $28 million (35 billion won) under the Korean government’s policy to expand cooperation with emerging countries over the past few years.

Seoul has dispatched a group of professors and operated a Korean language school in the institute.

Pich Sophoan, Secretary of State of Ministry of Labor of Cambodia, said he hopes that the college’s development will be linked to the nation’s improvement in income level.

He said the school could secure talented students, who would play a significant role in the nation’s economic development, thanks to the EDCF.

Bun Phearin, president of the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia, said the case has been a successful model with the help of Korea’s systematic aid and effective management.

Exim Bank officials pointed out that this is only part of the expanding interchanges with the Southeast Asian country.

Since establishing diplomatic ties in 1997, Korea has seen its trade with Cambodia continue to increase, posting $333 million in exports and $43.4 million in imports in 2010.

“In terms of assistance through the EDCF, Cambodia stands the No. 6 destination for Korean projects as of July 2011,” a bank official said.

The EDCF, being provided at a minimum interest rate of 0.01 percent, is mainly used for the construction of industrial and residential infrastructure in the developing world.

According to the Finance Ministry, Korea’s ratio of official development assistance for poor countries, including the EDCF, to its gross national income will be raised to 0.25 percent by 2015 from 0.06 percent in 2006.

Government data showed that about 70 percent of the funds are allocated to Asian countries.

Over the past several years, Korea Eximbank has signed contracts for EDCF provision with countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

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