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Cambodia to host the 13th ASEM summit this November.

The 13th ASEM Summit (ASEM13) will take place in Phnom Penh on 25-26 November 2021, under the theme “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the current situation requires stronger commitment and effective partnership between all stakeholders to address the existing and emerging global issues based on rules-based multilateral systems. 

E-Arts spoke to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson Koung Koy who shared all the details about this important political meeting between Europe and Asia. It will be the largest such event ever hosted by Cambodia.

The Summit will focus on four main topics: multilateralism, growth, sustainable development, and prosperity. He says the Asia-Europe partnership is there to ensure that multilateralism can bring about global growth that is not only “sustainable” but can also be “shared.” 

The summit will be held at the newly-built Convention Centre, located in the heart of Chroy Changvar in Phnom Penh. The venue has been specifically designed for hosting ASEM13.  

The Ministry is expecting all 51 heads of state of ASEM partner countries to attend, in addition to the two of the highest representatives of the European Union. They are the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission. It will be the first international summit after the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The Ministry says it is looking forward to warmly welcoming all ASEM leaders to further advance Asia-Europe partnerships and cooperation, as well as to discuss solutions to the common issues facing both continents and the globe. 

The Summit was initially scheduled for June, but after consultations with ASEM Partners, it was decided to postpone the in-person gathering until November to both secure the safety of delegates and enhance the quality of what is hoped will be a frank and constructive exchange of views.  

To stop any Covid-19 transmission, organisers are working closely with the Ministry of Health to develop strict preventive measures for delegates. These include showing proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 PCR test on arrival, staying at designated accommodation, and dining in carefully selected restaurants. Delegates will also have to wear masks at all times, maintain social distance and have their temperatures checked before entering the Convention Centre. 

Regarding how Cambodia will benefit from organising the event, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson Kuong Koi pointed out that hosting ASEM in a physical format is ideal for Cambodia. He says it is the perfect occasion to help promote Cambodia’s prestige internationally. The event will demonstrate Cambodia’s competency and capability, bearing in mind the country’s recent past. It will also show that Cambodia is an attractive and safe destination for international tourists, boosting their confidence in the wake of the pandemic.

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