September 18, 2011

Thaksin gives economic lecture in Cambodia


PHNOM PENH, Sept. 17 -- The fugitive ex-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Saturday afternoon gave an economic lecture to approximately 150 Cambodian economists and high-ranking officials.

The lecture was under the theme "Strategy for Sustainable Growth and Poverty Reduction in the Context of New Economy and Finance in Asia: Policy and Option for Cambodia."

Describing Cambodia is like his home, Thaksin said that Cambodia's economy has developed well in the last decade, but the country still needs to invest more in infrastructure such as roads, bridges and railroads, and in the sectors of education and vocational training in order to create more job opportunities.

He said that in order to build trust among foreign investors, Cambodia must have "a clear economic policy" and "the law system must be strictly respected."

"It is also necessary to modernize the country's financial system such as the establishment of security market and bond market in order to mobilize sources of capital for economic development," he said.

Meanwhile, Thaksin said that for the development of ASEAN's economy, ASEAN must be integrated as a community as soon as possible if it wants to gain steady growth for a long-term period or it will not be able to keep up with countries like China and India.

Speaking at the opening of the lecture session, Cambodian deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, who is also the minister of economy and finance, said that it was a great honor for Cambodia to share Thaksin's knowledge and experience on economic development.

He said that Cambodia's economy has seen a steady growth since the post-global financial crisis - the 2010's growth was six percent and it was predicted at seven percent this year.

The lecture was held at the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Thaksin Shinawatra arrived in Cambodia early Saturday to give two lectures in two separate conferences. During the stay, he has meet with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and a group of Pheu Thai's members of parliament.

Thaksin was deposed in a bloodless coup in 2006 by a powerful group of Thai army. He has been living in Dubai to avoid a two- year jail term for violating a conflict-of-interest law.

He is a close friend of Hun Sen and used to be the economic advisor to the Cambodian government and Hun Sen from November 2009 to August 2010.

This is his fourth time to visit Cambodia since he was toppled.

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