Justice and Economic Policy, Nationally and Internationally

Posted by khmernews on November 20, 2006

The party congresses of Funcinpec and the Cambodia People’s Party have both ended with confidence that the present coalition agreements, as well as the present top leadership positions, assure stability into the future.

Other Cambodian voices see different options for social stability, relating to a number of pending court cases which have attracted national and international critical attention.

Both coalition partners claim that their cooperation is of high importance for the economic future of the country. The Funicnpec president had stated: “The two parties’ coalition is the magic medicine to maintaining peace, security, and prosperity.” And the CPP congress referred to “the good developments made in the current Cambodian situation, both locally and internationally … in terms of the economy and of social affairs.”

This confidence in the economy is noteworthy. Others expressed concerns. The Cambodian Economic Institute said that the growth rate will decrease because of the high price of oil- the same concern highlighted also by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation [APEC] 21 countries leadership meeting. And they added to be also vigilant against the threats of bird flu and terrorism.

The APEC meeting is accompanied by some media reporting which hopes for a better perspective than the present reality suggest, looking forward to a “success in breaking the deadlock …. on free trade which will inspire confidence in the World Trade Organization in the future and will lay the foundations for a partnership trade system. “But these negotiations which began in 2001 in Doha with the claim of working towards system of trade that is more beneficial to developing countries broke down in 2003 in Cancun/Mexico, when the majority of developing countries present were not prepared to accept the terms of free trade proposed by the stronger economies, convinced they would mainly benefit the richer countries Without mutual satisfaction, there can be no mutual agreement. Also in economic relations, only fairness and justice can guarantee stability and development. If one side has a different opinion, they can walk out until the other side brings convincing arguments for a new beginning.

Similarly, the confidence in Cambodia that there will be economic progress needs also to convince others that reforms in the predictability and reliability of the state of law are progressing will, so that investors are attracted. The present tensions, which led even the former King to recommend to his legal adviser to seek asylum in a foreign country, are not conveying the confidence conducive to development based on peace with justice.

The Mirror, Vol.9, #448, For the week of Sunday, 20 November 2005, to Saturday, 26 November 2005.


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