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ASEAN Chair to Further Strengthen Cooperation With China for Regional Development

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PHNOM PENH: The Prime Minister of Cambodia and Chairman of ASEAN in 2022, Hun Sen, has announced that he will continue to strive for better ASEAN cooperation with the People's Republic of China (PRC) to ensure the sustainability and resilience of socioeconomic development in the region.

At the Opening of the 19th China-ASEAN Expo 2022 held on Friday morning, 16 September, Prime Minister Hun Sen stated that ASEAN-China economic cooperation has accomplished many achievements since the signing of the ASEAN-China Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation in 2002, as well as other subsequent signings of ASEAN-China free trade and investment agreements.

As the Chair of ASEAN, Cambodia supports the initiative to promote the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement to a new level and believes that we must pay more attention to further expanding and deepening the scope of ASEAN-China economic cooperation, particularly focusing on minimizing barriers to trade in goods, services and investment, as well as promoting the development of digital economy, green growth and capacity building of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

"I am confident that the implementation of the RCEP agreement, starting this year, will not only create and bring more trade and investment opportunities for countries in the region, but will also significantly contribute to the growth of the mentioned sectors, and especially will act as the 'core framework' for building a version 3.0 ASEAN-China Free Trade Area in the future," said the Prime Minister.

Taking this opportunity, the ASEAN Chair also thanked the Chinese government for always giving high priority to supporting the development and progress of ASEAN.

He announced that Cambodia will continue to work towards strengthening ASEAN cooperation with the PRC to ensure the sustainability and resilience of socioeconomic development in both regions.

China was recognized as an ASEAN dialogue partner in July 1996 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

China has retained its position as ASEAN’s largest trading partner since 2009. Trade between ASEAN and China has more than doubled since 2010, from US $235.5 billion to US 507.9 billion in 2019. 

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