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Plan for sustainable development unveiled


March 28, 2008

Plan for sustainable development unveiled

Cambodia has unveiled a detailed plan for developing the country's oil and gas reserves that would ensure sustainable economic development and reduce poverty at an UNDP conference, officials said Thursday.

The government has set its sights on long term benefits rather than short term gains, said Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia and Chairman of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority.

The plan, which includes the formation of a regulatory framework and the development of human resources, was "a vital step" towards sustained economic development, the official said in the inaugural speech of a poverty reduction conference.

The March 26-28 conference, Fuelling Poverty Reduction with Oil and Gas Revenues Comparative Country Experiences, was the first of its kind in Cambodia, which drew more than 500 participants from Cambodia and around the globe, a conference press release said.

Arne Walther, the former secretary general of the International Energy Forum, explained how Norway had become the model for prudent use of resource wealth when huge offshore resources were discovered there in the 1970s.

Transparent rules and regulations were a vital part of the process, said the advisor to Sao Tome et Principe's Minister of Natural Resources, Genoveva Jose da Costa.

She said the country had set up a National Oil Account for revenues from its natural resources.

Global energy experts also discussed legal frameworks, fiscal arrangements, contract negotiation and how to reliably assess resource bases, the press release said.

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