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Remarks by H.E Dr. THONG KHON at the Meeting on ”Pronouncement on the Composition of the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development for Preah Sihanouk Province”

Remarks by
H.E Dr. THONG KHON, Minister of Tourism, and
Permanent Vice President of the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development at the Meeting on
”Pronouncement on the Composition of the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development for Preah Sihanouk Province”
Golden Sea Hotel, January 29, 2013, Preah Sihanouk Province

- H.E SBONG SARAT, Governor of Provincial Governor Board of Preah Sihanouk Province,
- Excellencies as the Members of the General Secretariat of the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development,
- Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen!

First of all, on behalf of the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development and on my own behalf, I am greatly honored and pleased to attend with Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlement today’s significant meeting on  ”Pronouncement of the Composition of the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development for Preah Sihanouk Province”. I would like to express my profound thanks to H.E. Provincial Governor, Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen from relevant ministries-institutions and local authority for spending their valuable time to attend today’s significant meeting.

As Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen have already been informed through His Excellency Provincial Governor’s welcome speech and all key speakers’ presentations as well as today’s discussion, we have seen that the attention to Cambodia Bay Management and Development has been very important, necessary, appropriate for the time and current needs in ensuring sustainability along with the increase in the competitiveness of the Cambodia coastal area, named as the “Cambodia Bay: The Rising Star of the Southwest” to be aimed at strengthening the balance of socio-economic development to stabilize the long-term growth in an equity manner for the local development in the coastal area in the present era and next generation.

  • Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen!

The sustainable and responsible development is basically necessary and important while the whole world has been moving forward in the Green Era. In this sense, the concept over Sustainability-Based Cambodia Bay Management and Development is in line with the model of Green and Clean Development which is the most important and appropriate choice in the present through ensuring the social, economic, and environmental sustainability and balance. It is certain that the sustainable and responsible development or green development is a culturally, naturally, and environmentally friendly development model of priority worth in the coastal area and it requires setting forth realistic strategic plan and certainty of management.

Along with this, the admission of Cambodia Bay as the member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club on May 25, 2011 also give much benefit in terms of land management, environment through exchanging experiences in the coastal area management, and in Tourism to the areas through building a reputation, promoting Cambodia to be more well-known in the international scene, which encourages the local development based on what we have as our identity in line with the principle of “ Our identity is our future”.

In sum, we have seen that the Royal Government’s long-term vision is to push for the sustainable development along the Cambodian coastal area. In this spirit, the Royal Government established the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development, with H.E. Senior Minister, IM CHHUN LIM being as President, H.E Senior Minister MOK MARET, Vice President, and myself as Permanent Vice President together with the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development at a provincial level (Composed of H. E Provincial Governor as Chairman) to be aimed at managing, developing, and conserving the Cambodian coastal area with sustainability focusing on the aspects of land management, environment, and tourism in order to ensure the concept of “Conservation serves development, and development supports conservation” and in line with the spirit of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Rectangular Strategy consisting mainly of the good governance as the core based on close cooperation of all relevant stakeholders at both national, regional, sub-national, community, and local levels in managing and developing the area. In this sense, the setting of program and work plan of the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development in the Cambodian coastal area (Both national and provincial levels) requires the three key bases as follows: 

  1. Coherent Governance: The close cooperation of all relevant stakeholders at both national, regional, and community levels in management and development.
  2. Commonly Sharing Planning: The close cooperation of all relevant stakeholders at both national, regional, and community levels in setting the local development projects.
  3. Natural Resource Usage Management: The encouragement of natural resource conservation which gives much benefit to the local people, community, and region through enhancement of all resources’ worth.  
  • - Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen!

The Cambodian coastal area is one of the main economic poles of Cambodia (Dragon Head of Cambodian Economy), which has actively been contributing to the socio-economic development through Tourism, Transportation, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Service. Particularly, Preah Sihanouk Province became as a main area of the coastal area, the international gateway, industrial hub, in particular international tourist site harmonized with living condition, and filled with a wide variety of natural resources, infrastructure, including international airport and port, communication network, as well as various economic connectivity infrastructure. Obviously, for 2012, Cambodia received 3,584,307 international tourists at the growth rate of 24.4%, particularly the coastal area received 278,243 international tourists at the growth rate of 44.1%, and Preah Sihanouk province received 212,643 international tourists at the growth rate of 38.31% and approximately 657, 821 domestic tourists at the growth rate of 17. 82% with 23,517 international tourists by 42 cruise ships at the growth rate of 56.30% (following the expectations, there will be 18 cruise ships equivalent to 12,150 international tourists arriving in the Preah Sihanouk Port in 6 months of 2013, and 6,900 international tourists by 3 flights per week (Siem Reap-Preah Sihanouk)). Following the forecasts, Cambodia will receive 4.5 million tourists in 2015, 7 million in 2020, namely the Cambodian coastal area will play an important role in contributing to optimistically supporting the growth while the Royal Government is laying down tourist product diversification strategy from Siem Reap- Angkor and Phnom Penh Capital City to the coastal area and Eco-tourism destination in the northeast.

In order to move forward the process of managing and developing tourism in the Cambodian coastal area in a sustainable, efficient, and responsible manner (Deserving the member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club) and to implement the 07 sound recommendations of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN delivered at the congratulation ceremony on the admission of Cambodia Bay as the member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club on July 11, 2011, the realistic tourism development strategic plan must be on the  right way of integrated approach which covers overall sectors. In this spirit, we shall continue carrying out the National Committee’s work plan 2013 which is set out and proposes that the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Management and Development pays high attention to setting its action plan with a focus on the following major works:

  1. Must cooperate with the General Secretariat of N.C.M.D in setting provincial action plan for Preah Sihanouk Province bay management and development in a sustainable manner through taking into consideration the integration of land management, tourism, and environment aspects to represent roadmap for development in the province, aimed at encouraging the tourism development in the province, especially keeping the province’s identity—the international tourist destination through closely cooperating with relevant stakeholders, private sector, and local people.
  2. Implementing the sound recommendations of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN at the congratulation ceremony on the admission of Cambodia Bay as the member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club on July 11, 2011, I would like to propose the Provincial Committee to review if there is any inactivity relating to illegal sand pumping, illegal fishing, poison liquid and solid waste drainage (waste water), land filling into the sea not meeting technical standard, and to report to the National Committee to submit to the Royal Government for taking measures to prevent and eliminate the negative activities.
  3. Furthermore, I would like the provincial committee to pay high attention to liquid and solid waste management, in particular the plastic waste management through encouraging implementing 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) in order to contribute to ensuring welfare and living standards in the coastal area, which deserves the world’s most beautiful bay, and reach “Cambodia Bay: Clean Bay without Plastic Bags Flying in the Air” prior to 2015, additionally continuing to encourage sellers, tour operators, and tourists to partake in the campaign of cleaning bay to improve bay’s beauty, particularly aimed at keeping Cambodia Bay in clean, hygienic, and orderly condition in order to take part in the Clean City Contest to be planned to award the award-wining cities in late 2013 or early 2014 in Cambodia and ready to partake in the contest in 2015 within ASEAN Clean Tourist Standard frameworks. Right now, I would like the relevant authorities to take strict measures to strengthen the Koh Rong archipelago management in order to keep it in the condition of cleanness without waste scattered and plastic bags in the air, and other wastes affecting the tourist attractiveness in the pristine island. 
  4. Must continue strengthening tourists’ safety visiting the beach in the province through having to encourage implementing the Royal Government’s decision on “the Establishment of Cambodian Beach Lifeguards” rapidly and leading to putting the beach lifeguards into practice along the main tourist destination in the province of coastal areas. In this sense, the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with N.C.M.D must push for putting into practice enough Cambodian beach lifeguards as exact needs. Besides, the provincial committee must cooperate with the Ministry of Tourism in delivering training program to the beach lifeguards.
  5. Must effectively implement the laws and regulations set forth by the Royal Government (Laws, Royal Decree, Sub-Decree, Decision.etc,) in order to ensure the clean environment for Cambodia Bay and to eliminate the inactivity and cooperate in encouraging promoting and implementing decision on the development of coastal areas of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and building up capacity of relevant officials in implementing the decision effectively (such as the preparation of “Law on Cambodia Bay Management).
  6. Contribute to arrange and improve the infrastructure, beauty, social order, safety in the province to be prepared to host the 9th General Assembly of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club and Sea Festival on December 2013 in forth coming.
  7. The provincial authority, tour operators, tourist communities, and private investors kindly cooperate in developing green area in their provinces-cities and take part in the campaign “One Tourist, One Tree”, particularly set up appropriate tourist parks in their provinces.
  8. The Ministry of Tourism cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in encouraging the establishment of and putting into operation the tourism seaport in Kampot province, Kep province, and one other in Koh Kong province, and preparing a House of Bay along the provinces of the Cambodian coastal area, which will be playing a vital role as a new tourist product, tourism information center as marine tourist museum for tourists’ sightseeing.
  9. Propose the provincial administration and provincial committee to cooperate with the Ministry of Tourism, General Secretariat of N.C.M.D in preparing data and collecting statistic to update the investment projects in the coastal area to represent the basis for monitoring the investment project conduct in the coastal area.  

Last but not least, I would like to extend my profound thanks to Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen for spending their valuable time to attend the pronouncement meeting and also call for all of you to pay high attention to tourist service quality improvement and coastal area management in a clean condition to be ready to welcome and host the 9th General Assembly of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club in forth coming. Seizing this auspicious opportunity, I would like to inform the whole participants that Samdech Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister agreed and approved of the Ministry of Tourism organizing the 9th General Assembly of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club in Boko tourist site on December, 2013 in conjunction with the Sea Festival.

I am firmly confident that the security, safety, social order, welfare, cleaness, and greeness shall be improved and strengthened regularly to make the coastal area become an international tourist pole and deserve the member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club and the Rising Star of the Southwest. 

At the end of the day,  I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen, Sellers, and Tour Operators the four gens of Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

May I pronounce the composition of the National Committee for Cambodia Bay Managment and Development for Kampot province from now onward.   

Thank You!

 
 
 
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