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UK Minister For The Indo-Pacific To Discuss Cooperation On Sustainable Development And Education On First Visit To Cambodia

Phnom Penh: UK Minister for the Indo-Pacific, Rt Hon. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, will visit Cambodia [2 – 4] March to strengthen cooperation on trade, economic development, and education. During the visit, Minister Trevelyan will meet Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy and Finance, Pornmoniroth Aun, to discuss how the UK is supporting sustainable development in Cambodia, including green infrastructure. Trade and investment between the UK and Cambodia continue to develop, boosted by initiatives including the Developing Countries’ Trading Scheme, with annual two-way trade worth over £1 billion. Cambodia is also a priority country for the UK’s British Investment Partnerships programme, which encourages private sector investment into high-quality, sustainable infrastructure projects to support development.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Minister for the Indo-Pacific, Rt Hon. Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: ‘I'm delighted to be paying my first visit to Cambodia, a country with an incredible ancient history and which has overcome more recent hardships to become one of the fastest-growing economies in ASEAN. ‘The UK-Cambodia bilateral relationship is growing across various sectors, and we are committed to supporting the country on the next stage of its development journey. I'm looking forward to hearing more about how our British Investment Partnerships work is delivering for Cambodia and the role of UK education in developing talent here.’

British Ambassador to Cambodia, Dominic Williams MBE said: ‘I enthusiastically welcome the UK Minister of State for the Indo Pacific, Rt Hon. Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, to Cambodia - the UK’s first Ministerial visitor since Prime Minister Manet’s government took office last August. The visit is a visible demonstration of our desire to deepen cooperation with Cambodia. The UK is committed to supporting job-creating economic growth in Cambodia, through sustainable investment, development initiatives, and trade. The visit will also be an opportunity for open discussion on key national and international issues. I’m pleased that the Minister will be able to hear from a range of Cambodians about the future.’

While in Phnom Penh, the Minister will visit the new sister campus of Leicester-based De Montfort University, the first UK university to open a site in Cambodia. The Minister will hear from university staff and other education providers ahead of the campus welcoming its first cohort of students later in 2024. Improving access to education for Cambodians, in particular women and girls, is a longstanding priority in the UK-Cambodia relationship. In addition to existing programmes, in 2023 the UK committed £30 million to increase access to education for women and girls across Southeast Asia. The funding will support around 100,000 women and girls, including through scholarships and additional classes, as well as teacher training to improve the quality of lessons.

Signalling the UK’s respect for Cambodia’s rich history, the Minister will also visit the National Museum of Cambodia to see artifacts recently returned to Cambodia from the UK as well as the opportunity to listen to civil society organizations and their important work on good governance, transparency, protection, and empowerment of women in the country.

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