Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of The 2022 ASEAN Leadership and Partnership Forum in Phnom Penh on Sept 12, 2022. (XUE JINGQI / CHINA DAILY)
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has called for unity and close cooperation among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as the region continues to face new challenges.
“We must not only be united, but also strengthen our close partnership and cooperation in line with the theme ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together, set by Cambodia as the chair of ASEAN in 2022, in order to continue to maintain our progress towards a bright future and common prosperity,” he said on Sept 12.
ASEAN must “act as a role model and work together to ensure regional peace, stability and prosperity by strengthening ASEAN unity, centrality and strictly adhering to the partnership and multilateral mechanisms to address challenges”, said Hun Sen
The prime minister was addressing the opening ceremony of The 2022 ASEAN Leadership and Partnership Forum in Phnom Penh, a two-day event co-organized by Malaysia-based think tank KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific, ASEAN Business Advisory Council, Phnom Penh-based Asian Vision Institute and Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, and supported by China Daily.
ASEAN groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. Cambodia expounds “togetherness” as the action-oriented approach of the 10-nation group that is based on openness, good faith, solidarity and harmony within the ASEAN community.
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The prime minister also announced the launch of the ASEAN Economic Club, which aims to promote a more cohesive approach to ASEAN economic integration, and expressed his support for the establishment of the Cambodia Economic Development Fund at the forum.
To date the negative effects of the COVID-19 outbreak have been reduced by the strengthening of cooperation and partnership through the sharing of vaccines, providing financial assistance and the sharing of technical knowledge in a spirit of understanding and mutual help.
Similarly, leadership and partnership are key factors that have enabled ASEAN to overcome obstacles and to thrive, said Hun Sen.
In order to achieve fruitful results and show the world ASEAN’s commitment to strengthen cooperation amid turmoil, Hun Sen said it is a must to avoid war where there is no winner or loser, but only destruction and loss of people’s lives.
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ASEAN must “act as a role model and work together to ensure regional peace, stability and prosperity by strengthening ASEAN unity, centrality and strictly adhering to the partnership and multilateral mechanisms to address challenges”, said Hun Sen.
To achieve sustainable and inclusive economic recovery, he said ASEAN must continue to promote economic integration and turn into an attractive and dynamic trade and investment hub, particularly through measures like accelerating the implementation of the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement signed between ASEAN and its five trading partners including China.
Participants at the 2022 ASEAN Leadership and Partnership Forum in Phnom Penh focus on the theme "Partnership for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN”from Sept 11-12, 2022. (XUE JINGQI / CHINA DAILY)
Hun Sen said ASEAN also needs to pay special attention to economy security to meet all basics and essential needs of its citizens and ensure inclusive and equitable benefits from domestic and regional growth.
“ASEAN must look forward and work together to take full advantage of the potential opportunities arising from the global trend such as circular economy, green economy and especially digitalization, which will be the key driving force in promoting connectivity in all areas,” said Hun Sen.
The 2022 ASEAN Leadership and Partnership Forum will focus on” Partnership for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN”.
Delivering welcome speeches at the ceremony were Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council & President of Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and Chairman & CEO of the Royal Group of Companies of Cambodia, Neak Oknha Kith Meng; Senior Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Asian Vision Institute (AVI), Dr Sok Siphana; and Founder and Chairman of ASEAN Leadership & Partnership Forum (ALPF) and President of KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific of Malaysia, Tan Sri Michael Yeoh.
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Throughout morning sessions, about 300 participants participated in three sessions that discussed ASEAN’s post-pandemic recovery toward the new normal, ASEAN in the new world order by forging partnerships, and enhancing its transport connectivity to promote regional trade and investments.
Afternoon sessions are focusing on digital ASEAN, promoting entrepreneurships, social enterprises and connecting markets and opportunities.