PM Hun Sen Shares Views on COVID-19 at ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of ASEAN-BAC

AKP Phnom Penh, June 26, 2020 —

Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia shared his views on opportunities taken from COVID-19 crisis, at the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) held this afternoon via Video conference.

“As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many negative social and economic impacts to our region and the world, particularly causing disruptions to trades and global supply chains, unemployment, and loss in income,” he said.

According to the Cambodian Premier, COVID-19 pandemic has once again reminded us that ASEAN still has shortcomings and heavily relied on external factors. With the emerging trends brought by COVID-19, the shift of global trades and supply chains to regional trades and supply chains, ASEAN must be well-prepared to derive maximum benefits from this. As often mentioned, ASEAN intra-regional trades remain low. In this context, this is a great opportunity for ASEAN members to enhance and promote trades within the region. In this sense, all ASEAN member states must show firm commitment to continue eliminating the remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers.

“As aforementioned, ASEAN has new opportunity to strengthen the regional supply chains. And this is a necessary task as I am of the view that the linkage of supply chains in the region will enable ASEAN to realise its fullest potential since all 10 ASEAN countries possess different comparative advantages. In addition, the regional supply chains will enable ASEAN member states to leverage on each other and transform ASEAN into a self-sufficient region. This does not mean that ASEAN will detach itself from the global supply chains, but it is rather to promote the competitiveness of the ASEAN Community as a whole on the international stage,” he added.

“I would like to reiterate once again that the engagement of private sector is indispensable for the development of ASEAN Community as well as in the context of COVID-19. Truly, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected many sectors, which requires government’s interventions. However, the private sector must not solely rely on the government; indeed they must also help themselves navigate and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic as well. Therefore, investors and business owners who are not affected or least affected by COVID-19 need to be mindful of their responsibilities, especially the Corporate Social Responsibility towards their employees. Investors and business owners must remember that it is their employees who have helped grow their business and investment. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis also provides a great opportunity for investors and business owners to show their gratitude and supports to their employees by not laying off and providing subsidies as much as possible. Certainly, the governments of ASEAN play an important role during and after the Covid-19 crisis, yet governments alone cannot address every challenge we are facing. Therefore, the private sector must join hands and cooperate with the government to address the arising challenges,” underlined Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

(Photo: Kok Ky)

By C. Nika