Hun Manet Leaves for Europe to Attend the World Economic Forum and Meet French President Macron

Prime Minister Hun Manet departed on Jan. 13 for a week-long visit to Europe. Photo: Ministry of Information

PHNOM PENH – Prime Minister Hun Manet departed on Jan. 13 for a week-long visit to Europe, his first since assuming office in August 2023 and which will include an official visit to France.

The prime minister is to attend the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Switzerland on Jan. 16 and 17, according to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Jan. 12.

The meeting, held under the theme Rebuilding Trust, will focus on principles such as transparency, consistency and accountability, the press release read.

Hun Manet will speak on restoring faith in the global system, focusing on “win-win” approaches to address global concerns and foster peaceful engagement and dialogue, the ministry said in the press release. He will also meet with foreign dignitaries on the sidelines of the annual meeting.

The prime minister will then embark on his first official visit to France at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron and which will take place on Jan 18 to 19, the ministry said in a separate statement. Topics on the tables will include the environment, the energy sector, the economy, and defense, Hun Manet said in a letter address to Macron on Jan. 8.

According to the ministry statement, the meeting between the two leaders will be an auspicious opportunity for both governments to reaffirm their collective commitment to elevating their traditional relations of friendship to new heights.

This will also chart a course of action to enhance and expand mutually beneficial cooperation within both bilateral and multilateral frameworks while collaborating to tackle global challenges and upholding a rule-based international order, the ministry said in its statement. Several documents will be signed during the prime minister’s visit, the ministry added.

During his stay in Paris, Hun Manet will also meet top political leaders including the presidents of France’s Senate and National Assembly. He will also meet Louise Mushikiwabo, secretary general of the Secretary General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie—the international organization of countries with an affiliation to the French culture. 

French Ambassador to Cambodia Jacques Pellet said in an interview that, for France, Phnom Penh is at the heart of a strategic region, which has been strengthening its presence in the Indo-Pacific area and with ASEAN over the past few years.

In a letter to Macron on Jan. 8, Hun Manet said that he was planning to further promote Cambodia’s French heritage and the Francophonie. This is in line with Macron’s suggestion that Cambodia host the Francophonie Summit in 2026 to King Norodom Sihamoni during his visit to France in 2023, he said.

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