France Promises $217m for Training, Energy and Water Treatment

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) poses with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Manet ahead of a meeting at the Elysee Presidential Palace, in Paris, on January 18, 2024. Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

PHNOM PENH – France has pledged over $217 million to help Cambodia with technical and vocational education and training (TVET), energy and water treatment.

French President Emmanuel Macron told Prime Minister Hun Manet of the aid at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Jan. 18 during the PM’s two-day visit. 

“The visit will grow our closeness for further cooperation. We’ll talk more about the Prime Minister’s priorities so that we can facilitate necessary assistance,” Macron said.

“We trust in Cambodians’ potential and capabilities.”

Hun Manet thanked France which has contributed to peacebuilding in Cambodia since the times of former leaders. In 13 months, three high delegations have visited France, including King Norodom Sihamoni in November last year and former prime minister Hun Sen in December of 2022.

“This shows how deep the relationship between the two countries is. I am committed to strengthening the French-Cambodian relationship, particularly after my visit,” Hun Manet said.

The President praised Cambodia for its humanitarian assistance for Ukraine while being a major provider of blue helmet troops on United Nations peacekeeping missions. 

Cambodia has dispatched more than 9,200 troops, of which 726 were women, to 12 UN peacekeeping missions in 10 countries since 2006. It ranks the first among ASEAN member states and is the 9th largest mobilizer of female soldiers in the world.

For the cultural sector, the President promised to work on various exhibitions and cultural events. During the King’s visit last year, the President said France will help restore and expand the National Museum and Khmer artifacts

France has played an important role in conserving the Angkor Archaeological Park and other heritage temple sites and has promised assistance up to 2032.

French-Cambodian Senate Relations

Also on Jan. 18, the Prime Minister invited French Senate President Gerard Larcher to visit Cambodia, especially after the French Senate election on Feb. 5.

During their meeting, Hun Manet spoke of the fruitful discussions with Macron, including politics, economy, culture and languages.

The Senate President welcomed the Prime Minister and talked about the successful cooperation between both countries’ senates in the past 25 years.

Hun Manet met French National Assembly President Yael Braun-Pivet in the evening on the same day.

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