ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference + 1 Session with Australia1 August 2019, Bangkok
Intervention by H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana
Sr. Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia
Agenda Item 3 and 4:
“Review of ASEAN-Australia Cooperation and Its Future Direction” and
“Exchange of Views on Regional and International Issues”
1. Thank you, Excellency Excellency Co-Chair, for giving me the floor. I wish to join with othe ASEAN Ministers to welcome Her Excellency Co-Chair, The Hon. Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, to our Meeting today.
Excellency Co-Chairs, Dear Colleagues,
2. I have two points to make in addition to the ASEAN Common Statement, especially with reference to Cambodia.
3. Cambodia appreciates the active partnership between ASEAN and Australia since 1974. At this juncture, continued economic growth is challenged by the fast transformation of technologies as driven by the 4th Industrial Revolution. This digital evolution is both a two-edge sword. It does bring tremendous opportunities for innovation but it is also a cause of concern to Cambodia and some less technological advanced ASEAN countries. I believe it could undermine our country competitiveness, our economic growth and prosperity if we are left behind.
4. I am of the view that as a whole ASEAN Member States would benefit from the sharing of best practices and know-how in the area of ICT, e-commerce, digital economy, etc. I am fully convinced there is definitely strong potential for ASEAN-Australia cooperation in e-Commerce and digital economy. We should use all available cooperation platforms to identify new opportunities for collaboration in these emerging fields that impact directly our peoples’ lives, for the better I may say.
5. Cambodia attaches great importance in MSMEs sector as it does play a key role in economic development. In this connection, Cambodia hopes that Australia enhance further cooperation in the area of people-to-people links through new education initiative like the New Colombo Plan and the Australia Awards scholarships.
6. Last, in the context of Cambodia’s hosting of the next ASEM Summit in 2020, Cambodia will be pleased to work with Australia on promoting the agenda of women empowerment as one of the cross-cutting issue.