In a forum on Wednesday, the government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) underlined the significance of well-planned urban infrastructure development and shared insights on waste management innovations, asset management, public-private partnerships, and urban financing.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance and ADB held the forum on urban infrastructure development in Phnom Penh, presided by the former’s secretary of state Vongsey Vissoth.
It was attended by the ADB’s Southeast Asia Department deputy director-general F Cleo Kawawaki and representatives from the public and private sector.
Vissoth said: “In the long run, urban-urban connectivity will be a major driver of economic growth, and as the country grows we can say that the city is a national economic force.
“To successfully build the city we want to live in, we need to change the old-fashioned mindset among the public and leaders in the private and public sectors, and adapt to changes to make a better living,” he said.
The ministry’s chief of Private Sector Development Division Eng Touch told The Post on Thursday that the ADB team is helping the government to prepare the Urban Strategic Development Master Plan under ADB’s Livable Cities Investment Project framework.
He said the ADB team is finalising a master plan which will focus on the development of urban infrastructures, such as sewage and wastewater treatment facilities, rainwater treatment facilities and dumpsites in Bavet, Poipet and Kampot towns by March 2020.
“According to the list of Development Projects and Technical Assistance 2019-2021 under the ADB Financing Framework, a livable urban development project is projected to spend around $180 million in ADB concessional financing.
“And, the government will contribute 10 per cent of the budget of the overall project cost,” Touch said.
An ADB representative told The Post on Thursday that it has been supporting Cambodia since 1966.
For water and urban infrastructure, ADB has provided support to the government to improve urban services, as well as strengthen institutions in policy and planning across several provinces nationwide.
ADB is the largest contributor to infrastructure development in the water supply and sanitation sector, providing approximately 25 per cent of the total external assistance for urban and rural areas.
The development bank is committed to finding solutions for water and nature conservation, building resilience, providing equitable access to services and promoting digital tools and efficiencies in urban planning and service delivery said the representative.
ADB’s pipeline of investments will address basic urban services, area-based solutions for communities, and continued support for long-term planning and introduction of cost-recovery options for sustainable service delivery.
The representative said the ADB endorsed a new five year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) in October which outlines its plan to support the Kingdom to foster sustainable and inclusive development, build climate resilience and accelerate governance reforms.
Under the strategy, ADB will provide $1.45 billion in loans, grants and technical assistance to support agriculture and natural resources management, improve urban and rural living conditions, renewable energy infrastructure, and education and skills development.
For the water and urban development pipeline, ADB will provide about $300 million to focus on creating livable cities in Cambodia over the CPS period, said the representative .