Cambodia Attends the 2nd ASEAN-Australia Biennial Summit

AKP Phnom Penh, November 14, 2020 —

H.E. Dr. Aun Pornmoniroth, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, attended the 2nd ASEAN-Australia Biennial Summit, which were held on the margin of the 37th ASEAN Summit.

According to the press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on behalf of the Royal Government, H.E. Dr. Aun Pornmoniroth expressed Cambodia’s appreciation for Australia’s support of the Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project (H-EQIP) which has help Cambodia’s capacity in health service delivery.

Cambodia highlighted on the positive impact of Australia’s support for ASEAN human resource development and education which is crucial for Cambodia’s development. Cambodia applauded Australia’s endeavour to promote gender equality, women’s economic empowerment and Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda, and expressed its commitment to work with Australia to further advance this noble endeavor.

During the Summit, the Leaders expressed appreciation on substantive achievements of dialogue relations over the past 45th years that has contributed to maintenance of peace, security and prosperity in the region. They shared their commitments to the effective implementation of the Plan of Action 2020-2024.

ASEAN Leaders appreciated for Australia’s continued support ASEAN Centrality, ASEAN Community building, regional integration and narrowing development gap. They welcomed Australia’s contribution of US$1 million to the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and other supports given to ASEAN Member States and regional initiatives to address public health emergencies. The Meeting agreed to working together as an immediate task to address post-pandemic economic robust recovery, especially to work towards lifting travel restrictions. They also agreed on the need to ensure equitable supplies and full access to COVID-19 vaccines to all.

On economic cooperation, the Meeting underlined the importance of the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) and looked forward to the launch of the AANZFTA Upgrade negotiations in 2021. The Meeting reaffirmed commitment to maintain a free, open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based international order, upholding multilateral trading system, including through the AOIP. The Leaders agreed to further deepening social and cultural linkages through programme to promote people-to-people connections, education, capacity building and institutional building, and tourism. Other issues which were discussed cooperation in the field of transnational crime, cyber security, human trafficking, environment, climate change and disaster management, science and digital technology and digital infrastructure, connectivity, innovation and smart cities network.

The Meeting welcomed the decision to convene annual ASEAN-Australia Summit starting from 2021, which will mark a new chapter in the ASEAN-Australia strategic partnership.

By Heng Panha