CNRP voters have gotten used to being told that their votes are wasted in Phnom Penh, a city often described as a “longtime opposition stronghold.”
For three days, regional elites in business and government gathered at the five-star Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel, which stands almost alone on the tip of the Chroy Changva peninsula, at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, with the Royal Palace across the water.
Prime Minister Hun Sen used a news conference at Thursday’s World Economic Forum on Asean in Phnom Penh to warn that two foreign-owned news outlets, including The Cambodia Daily, were “against” the government and that journalists who did not report “properly” would be seen as “servants of foreigners.”
Regional leaders urging the private sector to get involved in building infrastructure across Asean told the World Economic Forum on Asean on Thursday that it will require $1.7 trillion in annual investment.
At midday today, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte—best known for his brutal war on drugs—is set to give a briefing on “Dutertenomics,” his name for big-ticket infrastructure spending that aims to boost growth and reduce poverty.
A kickoff event for the World Economic Forum on Asean yesterday featured a panel of industry leaders and activists who lauded Asean’s potential for growth and entrepreneurship, while also stressing the importance of democracy in the bloc’s member countries.
The country is set to embark on local elections that promise to highlight the economic hardships faced by many Cambodians despite a sustained annual growth rate and continued poverty reduction, economic and political observers said this week.
Today, the region’s richest and most powerful meet for the start of the World Economic Forum on Asean at the Sokha Hotel on the Chroy Changva peninsula in Phnom Penh, the site of protest in November 2015 and the subject of a land dispute with the local community.
As delegates from across the region arrive today in Phnom Penh for the start of the 2017 World Economic Forum on Asean, economists, diplomats and businesses say the breakneck development underway in Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam—the region’s bottom tier countries based on income—is entwined with looming challenges and the potential for both riches and instability.