Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Hun Sen has delivered a video address to mark the opening of the 18th China-ASEAN Expo. This year’s theme is about sharing opportunities to build a common future. In his address, the Prime Minister focused on the pandemic, China-ASEAN relations and the kingdom’s efforts to boost trade and investment.
The Prime Minister referred to the Expo as a “testament to the glorious success of the Sino-ASEAN dialogue partnership, bringing development in all fields and prosperity for the nations and peoples of ASEAN and China.” He also took the opportunity to recognise the 30th anniversary of the China-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership and the anniversary of the China-ASEAN Sustainable Development Commitment.
He says the past 30 years have “become a solid foundation for ASEAN and China to pave the way, with brilliant and creative new opportunities to achieve a prosperous and environmentally-friendly future together. I believe China-ASEAN must continue to work together to fight and overcome Covid-19 to ensure sustainable action for socio-economics and peoples’ survival.”
The Prime Minister went onto say that the fight against the pandemic “requires solidarity, trust, consideration and collective action, under the multilateral mechanism and respect for international law and the sovereignty of each country. In addition, China-ASEAN must continue to promote cooperation in all fields, especially finance and trade, in order to accelerate rehabilitation of socio-economic activities after the Covid-19 crisis through the greater opening up of markets and free trade flows, as well as to facilitate investment flows to allow Cambodia, as well as other countries in the region, to be able to boost exports of products and have the potential to access additional financial resources.”
He again thanked China for its support of the kingdom’s fight against Covid-19, while also commending “the Chinese government and people for their active participation and leading role in the fight against Covid-19 on a global scale, through the production and distribution of vaccines, the provision of medical supplies and sharing experience in preventing, caring for and treating Covid-19 patients.”
He then turned his attention to the economy and trade, saying that “despite being considered a resource-scarce country, the Royal Government of Cambodia is committed to turning the crisis of Covid-19 into an opportunity for deeper reform to build a stronger economic and social system that is resilient to future crises. Over the past year, the government has been actively fighting Covid-19 through the implementation of three strategies. It is important to prevent, treat and vaccinate and, on the other hand, implement policies to balance the lives of people and businesses in all areas. At the same time, in order to accelerate the resumption of socio-economic activities and counter the new variants of Covid-19, the Royal Government of Cambodia on 1 August 1 2021 decided to launch a vaccination campaign for children and youth, 12-17 years old, as well as a third dose of Covid-19 vaccines to frontline public services. As a result of these efforts, Cambodia has become one of the countries in the region and the world that has achieved a remarkable high vaccination rate. As of the end of August 2021, compared to the plan, two doses of vaccine for people aged 18 and over has achieved 86% and the first dose for children and adolescents from 12-17 reached 81%.”
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the vaccination rollout would help establish what he called “community resilience” across the country, so that the kingdom could “gradually launch a full range of socio-economic activities in the near future.”
He also gave a nod to Thursday’s session of the National Assembly during which a raft of new draft laws were approved. He says, “the Royal Government of Cambodia has made unremitting efforts to improve the business environment, investing in and enhancing Cambodia's competitiveness through the introduction and implementation of a series of new reforms”.