ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference (PMC) 10 + 1 Session with Canada,1 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-Canada Cooperation and Its Future Direction” and
“Exchange of Views on Regional and International Issues”
Excellency Co-Chairs, Dear Colleagues,
1. Thank you, Excellency U Kyaw Tin, for giving me the floor. Let me welcome the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, to this Meeting. Allow me to add a few points in addition to what has been raised in the ASEAN Common Statement.
2. First of all, for Cambodia, we support the ASEAN-Canada FTA. This FTA, when materialized, will act as a complement to the RCEP which we hope to conclude the negotiation this year. At a time of unabated unilateralism and protectionism and a multilateral trading system under stress, the conclusion of a modern, comprehensive and high quality RCEP will boost some confidence in the global market.
3. In the context of the preparation of a new ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action, Cambodia attached great importance on ICT and digital economy, given the fast transformation of the 4th Industrial Revolution. We should continue to incorporate them as areas of potential cooperation in the years ahead. I believe this is an area of strength that Canada can bring to the partnership, in terms of expertise and know-how.
4. My second point is on the area of MSMEs development, I think we should stimulate further opportunities for MSMEs to play more role in promoting trade and investment between ASEAN and Canada.
5. My last point focuses on the Human Security as much as the humanitarian side of ASEAN Canada cooperation. Here I refer to the role of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC). ARMAC has been operational for the last three years as a center of excellence to address the issue of explosive remnants of war (ERW). Presently, it surely could benefit from some technical and financial support to ensure its long-term sustainability. I hope that Canada could consider providing additional support for ARMAC.
I thank you.