Cambodian Leader Shares 5 Main Points at Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Covid-19

AKP Phnom Penh, April 14, 2020 —

A high-level Cambodian delegation led by Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen attended the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Covid-19 via video conference, here at the Peace Palace this afternoon.

In his keynote address at the Special Summit, Samdech Techo Hun Sen shared five important points on Covid-19, stressing that its spread has augmented concerns and uncertainty in regional and global socio-economic development cooperation. This has made the fight against Covid-19 our common challenge, even though each of our countries is facing the spread of Covid-19 at different stages.

“In this context, we must have timely responses and concerted efforts, as well as an effective coordination within both ASEAN and ASEAN Plus Three frameworks, adhering to an inclusive and comprehensive approach. As such, the ASEAN Plus Three Framework is an important and highly potential mechanism allowing us to further strengthen cooperation in responding to this global challenge,” he underlined.

According to Samdech Techo Hun Sen, “Sharing experiences” is key to contain and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The Cambodian Premier said ASEAN must learn from the successes and best practices of the Plus Three countries, especially the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea, in effectively containing and preventing the spread of the disease.

On the occasion, Samdech Techo Hun Sen mentioned that “Saving life is of utmost importance”, and addressed that ASEAN Plus Three must establish a common mechanism to promote the sharing of medical techniques, experiences and knowledge about this disease, with an aim to protect, prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor, especially the vulnerable groups of people such as the elderly and frontline medical doctors who are directly battling the disease.

The Cambodian leader continued to share on “reducing economic risks”, saying that the ASEAN Plus Three must enhance closer coordination and dialogue in order to identify joint measures that can avoid severe impacts on production chains, economic activities and trade in the region, by adhering to the principles of open economy, trade and investment, and maintaining smooth flows of goods over the borders, by air, land and sea.

He added that East Asia is a region with high economic and trade potential, with an economy worth more than US$23.5 trillion and a total population of over 2 billion with increasing income. Therefore, ASEAN and the Plus Three countries must harness this potential and turn it into a new source of growth for the region through a more broad and in-depth enhancement in trade, investment and economic cooperation in other sectors.

Samdech Techo Prime Minister also laid stressed on “strengthening digital connectivity” by explaining that in that context of applying the principle of “social distancing” to avoid infection, some of the custom and ways of lives of our people—such as work, education, meeting and so on—have changed.

In this regard, Cambodia would like to seek a possibility that the Plus Three countries could share and support the technology in sectors such as E-government, E-business and E-learning, to ensure sustainable development within bilateral, sub-regional, and multilateral frameworks, he said.

At the same time, on behalf of the Royal Government and the people of Cambodia, Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed his profound gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Japan for their assistance to Cambodia in fighting against Covid-19. “The Government of the People’s Republic of China has dispatched to Cambodia a team of doctors specialising in fighting against Covid-19, both civilians and military, along with necessary medical equipment and masks, while the Government of Japan is planning to provide Cambodia with a US$20 million grant for the purchase of medical equipment, medicines and ambulances,” he said.

(Photo: Kok Ky)

By Khan Sophirom