PM Returns Home after BRF in China, ASEAN-GCC Summit in Saudi Arabia

Prime Minister Hun Manet returned home early morning on Oct. 21 after attending the Belt and Road Forum in China, and the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Saudi Arabia. Photo: STPM

PHNOM PENH — Prime Minister Hun Manet returned home early morning on Oct. 21 after attending the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in China, and the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Saudi Arabia.

Hun Manet attended the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Oct. 17 and 18 during which he delivered the keynote address on the topic of “[t]he Digital Economy as a New Source of Growth.”

In a statement following his address, Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Oct. 19 said that the prime minister had highlighted in his speech the growing vitality of the digital economy as a new source of growth and providing a unique opportunity to many nations to diversify their economies.

Hun Manet also underlined Cambodia’s commitment to transitioning from a conventional economic model to a resilient digital economy by introducing numerous digital-related policies, the ministry said in its statement. The prime minister also urged key partners from both the public and private sectors to explore the tremendous opportunities that Cambodia can offer in the digital economic field, the ministry added.

During his stay, Hun Manet held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang and senior officials of the Communist Party of China, during which commitment to further cooperation was expressed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statement read.  

Hun Manet and Xi also declared 2024 the Year of People-to-People Exchanges. Both sides had agreed to strengthen tourism cooperation with China, with China pledging to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Cambodia, the ministry said.

Hun Manet then left for Saudi Arabia for the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council (ASEAN-GCC) Summit in Riyadh held on Oct. 20.

According to the joint statement issued on Oct. 20, the leaders discussed ways to upgrade and develop their partnership to take advantage of the growth opportunities that can be utilized through cooperation between their two dynamic regions based on their shared visions for the future of their partnership and the values embodied in the United Nations Charter. 

“They declare to enhance trade and investment flows by creating mutually beneficial opportunities for joint investments, consistent with the ASEAN-GCC Framework of Cooperation, with special emphasis on sustainable infrastructure, renewables, petrochemicals, agriculture, manufacturing, health care, tourism, logistics, smart cities, connectivity and digitalization,” the statement read.

The leaders of two regions also agreed to explore cooperation in preventing and combating transnational crime, cybercrime, counterterrorism and extremism.

In Riyadh, Hun Manet met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is prime minister of Saudi Arabia, on the sideline of the summit.

State-run television TVK reported that the crown prince mentioned the potential direction for enhancing Cambodia-Saudi Arabia relations, aiming to increase cooperation in a number of key areas including trade, investment, energy and other areas to achieve common interests for the country and its people.

Hun Manet congratulated Saudi Arabia on its success in hosting the first ASEAN-GCC Summit and expressed satisfaction over the progress of bilateral relations between the two countries as reflected in the decision to establish a Saudi Embassy in Cambodia.

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