Cambodia's Latest Development [Perspectives]: H.E. Say Samal, Minister, Ministry of Environment

Cambodia's Latest Development: H.E. Say Samal, Minister, Ministry of Environment

How do you envision Cambodia’s development in the years to come?

Regarding the historical achievements we have enjoyed so far, over the next 30 years, in 2050, we want to see Cambodia become a high-income country, a proud, strong and active country as well as a good model member in the region. We have high ambitions for the future of Cambodia.

The Cambodian people as well as the government obviously want sustainable development. To develop Cambodia, we will not exclude anyone or any segment of society. We all need to move forward together. Looking at our economic growth over the last 20 years after peace was fully established in 1998, after we applied the win-win Policy, our economy has grown by around 7% per year. We can see changes in our social classes. The middle class is much larger than before.

The Ministry of Education has started its “New Generation School” program. This shows the desire and ambition of the government to change and to prepare the Cambodian people to compete on regional and international markets. We develop our country by working together. It’s not win-lose development.

What does this development mean for the Minister of Environment?

In the Ministry of Environment, we have the Environmental Impact Assessment process. All development projects require an assessment to determine the impact of those projects on our environment, society, culture and economy. We need to balance our development. We need to study which facets of development meet our strategic and economic development plans, which ones are related to our culture and people, which ones are genuinely feasible. And what we need to do to contribute to the development of the world. For example, in the Ministry of Environment, we have a Sustainable Development Council which is working to achieve the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.

Cambodia will have a good future. Based on what we have done so far, we are laying a solid foundation for the next generations to build a glorious Cambodia. The future of Cambodia is in the hands of our younger generations.

I think that in the next 10 years, we will step into a Golden Age because our Cambodian people, being better educated, will have a broad knowledge base. They can transfer their ideas into businesses. I think Cambodia will move faster.