Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Speeches of Samdech Techo Hun Sen during the 15th ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand

Address at The Meeting between ASEAN HOS/G and AIPA/Youth/CSO Representative

Hua-Hin, Thailand 23 October 2009

(10:30 – 12:20)

Excellency Chairman;

President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly;

Honourable Members of AIPA Delegations;

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am delighted and honored today to attend for the second time the meeting with the Representatives of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly – AIPA, Youth and Civil Society Organizations. The regularization of the meeting is very significant as ASEAN is moving closer to the establishment of the ASEAN Community. Indeed, this meeting is an important forum for us to share the outcome of our common effort in collectively bringing the “ASEAN Charter” which is “The Charter of the Peoples” to the doorsteps of ASEAN citizens as well as to pave the way for the realization of the ASEAN people’s dream for an ASEAN Community, that is to live in peace, prosperity, and harmony by 2015.

I believe that from here onward, ASEAN has to gear up its effort towards the implementation of the ASEAN Charter and the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015) which constitutes the Blueprints for the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan 2. In this connection, I believe that there is a need to institutionalize cooperation between ASEAN legislative, executive and administrative body as we are doing now.

There is no doubt that AIPA plays an important role in supporting the establishment process of ASEAN Community. The AIPA commitment to promote the harmonization of legal systems is of great contribution to further strengthen the building of ASEAN Community. The harmonization of laws and regulations among ASEAN member countries would not only facilitate the deepening of ASEAN integration in accordance with the roadmap and timelines stated in the Blueprint, but more importantly, AIPA can ensure the early ratification and full implementation of the existing ASEAN economic agreements and initiatives, and ASEAN regulations, which are pre-requisite for the realization of ASEAN Community by 2015.

Likewise, Parliamentarians, Youth and Civil Societies have also to share responsibility in developing a caring society in accordance with the principles of democracy, the rules of law and good governance. In this light, ASEAN Parliamentarians should work together to prevent the negative elements that could affect the spirit of regional cooperation in promoting freedom and dignity of ASEAN Citizens.

Parliamentarians, Youth and Civil Societies also play an important role in bringing ASEAN to closer among its members through harmonization of laws and strengthening the implementation of various agreements and decisions in the Community. To advance ASEAN as a rule-based organization under the ASEAN Charter, its people must understand and appreciate ASEAN’s goals and objectives. Otherwise, ASEAN would not be relevant if it remains an abstract ideal for its people.

Finally, bearing in mind that awareness and readiness of ASEAN people in sharing a common goal to the ASEAN Community is greatly important, hence the continued dialogue among us, Governments and Parliamentarians, and Representatives of Youth and Civil Societies could foster mutual understanding and help achieving and fulfilling the goals of ASEAN, eventually making ASEAN become real and tangible for all citizens.

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Address at the 15th ASEAN Summit (Retreat)

Cha-am, Hua Hin, 24 October 2009
(08:00-09:00)

Excellency Chair of the Meeting!
Your Majesty the Sultan,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

On behalf of the Royal government and the people of Cambodia, I would like to extend our congratulation to H.E. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on his assumption of the Chairmanship of this important 15th ASEAN Summit and thank Your Excellency for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation.

May I share with you, Your Majesty, Excellencies, some of my views related to our agenda as follows:

1-Exchange of views on regional and international issues

At the outset, I am pleased to take note that since the signing of the Charter, ASEAN’s important role as the primary driving force in the regional political and security cooperation has been maintained. This has been supported by the recent accession by the United States of America to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), which shows a strong signal of its commitment to peace and security in the region. With regard to South China Sea, Cambodia strongly encourages the early finalization of the Guidelines on the Declaration on the Conducts of Parties in the South China Sea of 2002 (DOC) in order to further promote mutual trust and confidence among the claimants in the area and maintain peace and stability in the region.

Moreover, Cambodia welcomes Premier Wen Jiabao’s fruitful success in his recent official visit to DPRK. The promise by the Leader of DPRK to return to the six-party talks on denuclearization would strengthen peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. ASEAN now operates under a legal framework and has established a number of new organs. However, the issue of efficiency and effectiveness of ASEAN remain challenges for ASEAN at this implementation stage. For the future of ASEAN, I believe that while upholding the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of member state, ASEAN has to show also its ability to coordinate and address political and security issues related to bilateral relations of its members as this may affect regional integration and community building.

(At this point, Samdech may elaborate more on Preah Vihea issue based on aide-memoirs prepared by H.E Prak Sokhon)

2-ASEAN Connectivity

The ASEAN Charter is an important catalyst to bring ASEAN to its next level of integration, which is the building of an ASEAN Community by 2015, comprising the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and ASEAN Social-Cultural Community (ASCC). In this regard, I appreciate the establishment of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights which was inaugurated today. This is another historic step and contribution towards strengthening our ASEAN Community building. I believe that the Terms of Reference (TOR), the political declaration adopted today will guide the Commission in its efforts to further promote and strengthen protection of human rights in ASEAN.

Up to now, we have witnessed that every effort has been geared towards the implementation of the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015). In this regard, I highly appreciate the good progress achieved in the area of trade facilitation and in the implementation of the roadmap for integration of priority sectors, which is a key for successful ASEAN integration.

Narrowing the development gap should remain our top priority in order to ensure the complete realization of ASEAN integration. In this connection, Cambodia welcomes the concept of ASEAN Connectivity. The completion of physical infrastructure such as road, rail, air and sea linkages within ASEAN region which runs through Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar is vital, because the appraisal of this connectivity will bring benefits to all member states of ASEAN in boosting trade, investment, tourism and development as well as a major contribution in narrowing the development gap within ASEAN. Likewise, the 2nd IAI Work Plan (2009-2015) should give priority to the development of infrastructure. As the financing still remains the main concern for newer ASEAN members, I would like to request the establishment of Joint Development Fund which can be utilized to accelerate the integration process of less developed members of ASEAN in both hard and soft components such as physical infrastructure and human resource development as European Community has done.

In the long run, Cambodia acknowledges that ASEAN should look forward in expanding its connectivity to East Asia Region because it will facilitate the progress toward the establishment of Free Trade Area in East Asia and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia. However, at this stage, while discussing approaches toward an establishment of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia, ASEAN should focus on the implementation of the existing ASEAN FTA agreements and narrowing development gap among countries within the region.

3- Food and Energy Security

Since the world population has been increasing, the food security is a long term and sensitive issues, which are to be tackled by all countries. The food demand has been tremendously increasing due to the increase of world population, higher incomes and changes in food ration. The sharp increase in food prices has had a negative impact on poverty and has made the vulnerable people face with food shortage and malnutrition. The food security is even more pronounced in the ASEAN+3 Community as some members are still considered as developing countries. It is true that this highlights new opportunities for a number of countries in our region, which are highly potential for agriculture.

At the same time, we recognize that the demand for energy in the future will increase along with the economic growth in the ASEAN+3 Countries. Therefore, with the uncertainty of energy market as we witnessed in the last decade, the bio-energy is truly important for development. However, with the recent rising food price and suffering of the people, it should be noted that the bio-energy development is not productive because the land for food production should not be used for bio-energy. There is a need to strike a balance between food for consumption and bio-energy. In this connection, I would like to welcome and highly appreciate the ASEAN+3 Declaration on Food Security and Bio-Energy Cooperation. This action is not only to strengthen our commitments to the well-beings of our people but also contribute to the global food security and bio-energy cooperation.

As an agricultural country, Cambodia welcomes investment in infrastructure, technological transfer and technical assistance in order to improve agricultural productivity. To avoid food shortage in the future, technology will play crucial role as it leads to the improvement of agriculture productivity. Cambodia is self-sufficient in rice with some remaining for export and contained extensive land surface, which has not been used at the maximum potential yet. Therefore, together with the investment to improve agriculture productivity, Cambodia may become another crucial rice barn for the region and the world.

4-Global Economic and Financial Crisis

There are early indications that the various fiscal measures implemented in ASEAN and in the plus three countries to help mitigate the impact of the crisis are producing positive results and respond to the crisis timely, effectively and avoid disruptive social and political tensions. Despite the fact that only a mild global recovery is expected, there are good reasons to believe that East Asia will emerge from the global downturn more rapidly than other economies by stimulating domestic demand to offset weak exports.

Lessons learnt show that during the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998 that ASEAN and some of the East Asian economies was too vulnerable to financial instability because of international investment flows. During the current downturn, the region may have shown that it was too vulnerable to instability in the level of global trade. Thus, in spite of the rapid recovery in the region, this current global financial crisis presents opportunity for ASEAN and the plus three countries to strengthen cooperation and deepen regional integration in the areas of finance, trade and investment, physical infrastructure network linkage as well as agriculture and tourism. In order to maximize benefit from our great economic potentials, ASEAN and the plus three countries should also focus on soft infrastructures, in particular trade facilitation, simplification of customs procedures. This would be a critical contribution to reduce costs of doing business, boost domestic demand and domestic consumption for all our goods and services. This would certainly minimize our overtly dependence on external markets and enhancing our competitiveness in attracting investments from outside into the region. More importantly, the early implementation of the CMI multilateralization of swap arrangements, which have now reached US$ 120 billion, is the most reliable self-help mechanism to protect our region in the context of the current global financial crisis and future possible financial shock.

5- Climate Change and Disaster Management

Climate change still remains the greatest threat to all of us. We all have acknowledged the strong correlation between climate change and natural disaster. Many countries here today have just suffered from a wave of natural disasters, typhoon Ketsana, typhoon Melor, earthquake in Indonesia, flood in India, etc. Not long ago, cyclone Nargis had also created severe damage in Burma. The recent natural disasters remind us a grim impact from the climate change. Cambodia is no exception from this natural disaster, especially typhoon Ketsana. Many lives have lost, properties have been damaged and a huge agricultural farm land has been destroyed.

We all need to be daring to take bold measures in addressing this challenge. In this connection, we should accelerate all available mechanisms to effectively and timely tackle climate change. We also need to strike a balance between socio-economic development and environment protection. Moreover, we need to sufficiently finance the R&D to improve the efficiency of energy usage as well as development of clean energy. In this connection, I strongly urge all signatory countries of the Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment to unite and transform it into actual work plan and concrete implementation.

Finally, it has become clear that overcoming the crisis requires not only individual country measures, but all of us take decisive, coherent and mutually consistent policy efforts among all countries. Furthermore, I believe that by acting together and working together as a community I believe that we will be able to ensure the establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015 and East Asia community in the near future.

EndItem.

Remarks at 12th ASEAN-China Summit

Hua Hin, Thailand, 24th October 2009

(09:15 – 10:15)

Your Excellency Chairman,

Your Majesty the Sultan,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

First of all, I would like to join other ASEAN Leaders in welcoming H.E. Wen Jiabao, Premier of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the 12th ASEAN+China Summit.

Indeed, our region has been transformed rapidly both politically and economically. The region has become not just a center of growth, but also a regional driver for world economic recovery. Thus, I believe that peace dividend within the region should not be compromised as it is the foundation of our regional cohesion. Taking this opportunity, I would like to congratulate China, especially Premier Wen Jiabao for the great success of the recent official visit to DPRK. The promise by the Leader of DPRK to return to the six-party talks on denuclearization would strengthen peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula. With regard to South China Sea, Cambodia strongly encourages the early finalization of the Guidelines on the Declaration on the Conducts of Parties in the South China Sea of 2002 (DOC) in order to further promote mutual trust and confidence among the claimants in the area and maintain peace and stability in the region.

Moreover, I believe that China’s contribution to global and regional stability is indispensable, in particular its stimulus policy package has significantly contributed to the regional recovery. The stimulus policy package by respective countries has effectively minimized the impact of the current global financial crisis and economic recession on our region. Essentially, I highly appreciate once again the outcome of the ASEM meeting in Beijing, where ASEAN+3 countries agreed that the impact of the financial crisis can be mitigated through expediting and strengthening the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI). As result, we succeeded in increasing the ASEAN+3 SWAPs size from USD80 billion to USD120 billion as agreed by ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers' Meeting in February 2009. The early implementation of CMI multilateralization will surely enhance regional capability in the future possible financial shock.

I am encouraged by the positive results of the “progress report on the implementation of the Plan of Action on the Joint Declaration on the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity”. The achieved and ongoing progresses in the areas of security, functional and cultural cooperation well reflect mutual determination of the two parties to reinforce regional resilience, competitiveness and sustainability of regional stability. The agreement on the establishment of ASEAN-China Center will further enhance our fruitful cooperation.

Indeed, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area will be implemented in January 2010 for ASEAN-6, through the coming into force of the trade agreement in goods. We have witnessed that since the signing of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation in 2002, trade and economic ties between ASEAN and China have been growing rapidly. The trade volume between ASEAN and China increased from USD 59.6 billion in 2003 to USD 192.5 billion in 2008. This makes China become the third main trade partner with ASEAN, which accounts for 11.3% of total ASEAN trade volume. Though ASEAN-China Free Trade Area will be implemented in 2015 for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, I would like to request China to provide the list of Chinese importers and technical assistance to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) by providing trainings on Chinese customs procedures and sanitary and phytosanitary requirements in China.

I am very pleased to see the successful negotiation and conclusion on ASEAN-China Investment Agreement at this 12th Summit. I am sure that this agreement will further boost the two-way investment between ASEAN and China in the aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis. It is very timely that China has decided to set up a US$ 10 billion ASEAN-China Investment Cooperation Fund to finance major ASEAN-China projects in infrastructure, energy and resources, information and communication technology and other fields.

Cambodia highly appreciates China’s continued support for her contribution to the ASEAN Development Fund and ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF), and the 2nd IAI Work Plan (2009-2015) and projects which is very critical for narrowing development gaps. In this regard, Cambodia is very grateful for the special aid of RMB 270 million provided to less developed ASEAN members namely, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Cambodia also appreciate that China will provide ASEAN countries with USD 15 billion credit in the next 3 to 5 years. This would strengthen the process of ASEAN Community building by 2015 and East Asia Community in the long run.

China has also actively participated in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and supported many GMS activities. I would like to thank China for financing the construction of roads totaling 1,500 km, the longest road in Cambodia. Moreover, China has also financed the construction of bridges totaling 3,104 meters. Besides these, under BOT scheme, China is building hydropower plants in some provinces with the total capacity of 700 MW and total investment of around USD 1,700 million. Cambodia strongly hopes that the feasibility study of the Phnom Penh – Loc Ning rail link construction project, which is the missing link of the Singapore – Kunming railway project, will be concluded fruitfully. And the financing arrangement for this project will bring benefit for all parties concerned, especially Cambodia.

Finally, on behalf of the Cambodian people and the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Government and people of China for their continuous support to Cambodia in the forms of grants and soft loans, and for encouraging more Chinese investors and tourists to invest and come to Cambodia.

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Remark at the 12th ASEAN-Japan Summit

Hua Hin, Thailand, 24th October 2009

(10:30-11:30)

Your Excellency Chairman,

Your Majesty the Sultan,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I would like to join the ASEAN Leaders in extending the warmest welcome to the Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Yukio Hatoyama, to this 12th ASEAN-Japan Summit.

At the outset, I am very pleased to note that over the recent years the ASEAN-Japan relations in all areas have been in remarkable progress. The ASEAN-Japan strategic partnership is truly crucial in ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. I would like to appreciate the contribution from Japan for building the confidence, peace and stability in the region, especially the high commitment for process of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. Cambodia hopes that through the result of the recent official visit by the Chinese Premier, the six-party talk could resume in the near future. We call on party concerned to respect the Joint Statement on the Elimination of the Nuclear in Korean Peninsula dated on 13 February 2007 and the United Nations Security Council's resolution No.1718 dated October 14, 2006.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to welcome the policy and strategic recommendations provided by the ASEAN-Japan Eminent Persons Group (EPG) which aims to deepen and widen ASEAN-Japan future cooperation. Essentially, Japan has played important role in recovering the region from the impact of the global financial crisis and economic downturn. The regional confidence has been boosted by the effective policy measures together with and stimulus packages declared by Japan at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2009 on the provision of financial package of approximately 10 billion Japanese Yen (USD100 million) as the additional and urgent budget assistance as well as being committed to attracting ODA around USD17 billion to support Asia.

Moreover, Cambodia highly appreciate Japan’s recent “Growth Initiative towards Doubling the Size of Asia’s Economy” to strengthen Asia’s growth potential and expand their domestic demand through such measures as ODA of up to US$ 20 billion, a new line of trade insurance for infrastructure development amounting to US$ 20 billion, and the facilitation of trade finance of additional US$ 22 billion for two years.

Though the regional economy is on the road of recovery, I would like to request Japan to provide additional technical assistance to implement cooperation projects in garment sector such as training of skilled workers, experts, designers, managers, and the building of textile industries. As you have been aware that the global financial meltdown and the slowdown of the US and EU economy has adversely affected Cambodia's garment export, which shares 70% to 80% of Cambodia's total export in recent years.

In the framework of East Asia, I would like to welcome Japan, who provides great importance to the role of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia – ERIA, which was established by the Leaders at the 3rd East Asia Summit in 2007 as intellectual think tank to provide high quality research and policy recommendations for ASEAN and East Asia in dealing with challenges ahead. In this regard, I am encouraged by the efforts made by ERIA in initiating the project called “Mekong-India Economic Corridor Development”, a comprehensive project which intend to link Hochiminh City-Phnom Penh-Bangkok to Davai (Myanmar) to East coast of India through development of key transport linkages projects accompanied by multi-modal logistics park along the corridor and support infrastructure projects such as education and skill development, health and power. The realization of the project will eventually contribute to sustainable economic growth, narrowing development gaps and more extensive regional integration in ASEAN and East Asia.

I would like also to welcome the ASEAN-Japan CEP (AJCEP) Agreement, which have already come into effect. Through this agreement we plan to realize the Free Trade Area in 2012 for ASEAN-6+Japan and 2017 for CLMV. Cambodia will speed up the ratification on the comprehensive Agreement. The first ratification made by Japan shows way to implement the agreement, which aims to transfer technology and know-how from Japan to ASEAN. This will tremendously benefit both ASEAN and Japan from short to long-run. In this context, Cambodia would like to request Japan to help CLMV on matters relating to the Rules of Origin, Standards and sanitation and phytosanitary requirements.

Along with that, the bilateral trade agreement between ASEAN member states and Japan would boost trade in goods, services, and investments, and could serve as building blocks towards the establishment of Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA). Cambodia strongly hopes that the signed Agreement on the Liberalization, Promotion and Protection of Investments between Cambodia and Japan would pave the way for more Japanese investors to come to Cambodia with confidence to seize business opportunities in Cambodia, especially investment in agriculture such as food and agro-industry.

I also appreciate Japan for the USD 90 million assistance provided to the Japanese Fund for ASEAN Integration and the continued support for IAI projects are crucial for narrowing development gap and the realization of ASEAN Community by 2015. I would also like to highly appreciate the important role of Japan in the GMS cooperation framework.

Finally, on behalf of the Royal Government and all Cambodian people, I would like to express my heart-felt thanks to the government and people of Japan for providing their continuous support to Cambodia in the forms of grants and ODAs, and offer a special encouragement to Japanese investors to come and grasp the investment opportunity in Cambodia.

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Remarks at the 12th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit

Hua Hin, Thailand, 24th October 2009

(11:45 –12:45)

Your Excellency Chairman,

Your Majesty the Sultan,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I would like to join all ASEAN leaders to extend our warmest welcome to H.E. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to this 12th ASEAN-ROK Summit. First of all, I sincerely appreciate the ROK’s contribution to the strengthening of confidence, peace and stability in the region, especially the firm commitment to denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula.

Cambodia hopes that through the result of recent official visit by the Chinese Premier, the six-party talk could resume in the near future. We call on all the parties concerned to respect the Joint Statement on the Elimination of the Nuclear in Korean Peninsula dated 13 February 2007 and the United Nations Security Council's resolution No.1718 dated October 14, 2006.

Cambodia warmly welcomes the "New Asia Initiative" of President Lee Myung-bak, which aims to (i) increase the ROK's ODA contribution to other countries in Asia, (ii) strengthen economic relations with other Asian countries through expanding Korea's FTA networks, (iii) forge stronger ties with other Asian countries by forming multi-layered cooperation networks in dealing with key global issues. In this regard, the ASEAN-ROK Centre (AKC), which was inaugurated in March this year, is truly important to foster cooperation between ASEAN and ROK in the areas of trade, investment, tourism and cultural cooperation.

With regard to economic cooperation, I am delighted to see the total trade volume between ASEAN and the ROK reaching USD 90 billion in 2008 compared to USD 72 billion in 2007; Cambodia also saw a surge in FDI flow from Korea during the same period. Cambodia hopes that the coming into force Trade Agreement on Goods and Services and the Investment Agreement between ASEAN and Korea will help realize the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area by 2012 for ASEAN - 6 and by 2018 for Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar as planned.

In the financial sector, cooperation between ASEAN and ROK is critical for the implementation of the financial liberalization roadmap, especially the capital market development. Cambodia is very grateful to the Korean Exchange and KOICA for their technical and financial support for the establishment of its stock market, which is scheduled to launch in the near future.

Along with this, I highly appreciate ROK’s cooperation in the areas of food, agriculture and forestry by providing technological support for efficiency improvement. In the area of information technology and communication, ASEAN and ROK are also working together to achieve common prosperity for East Asia and narrow the digital divide.

In this regard, I highly appreciate Korea’s continued financial support for ASEAN-Korea Economic Cooperation Fund and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) including the USD 10 million assistance for 2008-2017. Since climate change has become a major concern for all of us, we welcome the ROK's initiative to establish the US$200 million Partnership Fund to tackle climate change in East Asia and its commitments to allocate US$ 100 million to ASEAN member states to deal with climate change. Overall, all these assistances are critical for the realization of ASEAN Community in 2015 and East Asia Community in the long run.

Finally, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, I would also like to express my heart-felt thanks to the Government and people of ROK for providing their continued support to Cambodia in the forms of grants and soft loans, and for encouraging more Korean investors and tourists to come to Cambodia.

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Remarks at the 7th ASEAN-India Summit

Hua Hin, Thailand, 24 th October 2009

(16:00 – 17:00)

Your Excellency Chairman,

Your Majesty the Sultan,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Please allow me to begin my remarks by joining with the ASEAN Leaders in welcoming H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India to this Summit once again.

Since the first Summit in 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, ASEAN-India cooperation has been strengthened and enlarged to cover a wide-range of areas including political and security, economic and development cooperation. The recent nomination of Indian Ambassador to ASEAN has given more weight to the importance of ASEAN-India partnership.

I have noted with satisfaction a remarkable growth of ASEAN-India bilateral trade and investment. ASEAN-Indian bilateral trade amounted to 47 billion dollars in 2008. From 2005-2008, trade in goods between ASEAN and India has increased at an average annual rate of 50 percent. In 2007, India Direct Investment to ASEAN reached $641 million. This is the highest figure ever recorded since 2000. In 2008, Indian FDI was $528 million.

Moreover, I am pleased to note that the Trade Agreement in Goods between ASEAN and India was signed and expected to come into force by early 2010 while the negotiation on Services and Investment Agreements is well underway. These are the factors to determine the success of the ASEAN-India Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation, especially the establishment of an ASEAN-India free trade area by the end of 2011 for ASEAN+6 and by 2016 for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to India's supports for ASEAN integration and the efforts in development of ASEAN community through the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI). May I join all ASEAN leaders to sincerely thank India for the financial contribution to the ASEAN-India Fund and ASEAN-India Science and Technology Development Fund. Moreover, Cambodia also welcomes the establishment of ASEAN-India Green Fund.

Despite remarkable progress, more attention should be given to the strengthening of the partnership in energy development and tourism development in order to overcome the challenges of global financial crisis. Cambodia welcomes any investment in energy development to secure the pace of economic development both in the country and the region. Likewise, an Open Skies Agreement that will liberalize air services between ASEAN and India is another major advancement in tourism cooperation. Cambodia welcomes and supports the ASEAN-India Aviation Cooperation framework and further efforts to open its sky and joint tourism development.

I would like to thank the Indian Government for an intention to help the establishment of IT Training Center in Cambodia, in addition to the establishment of Entrepreneurship Development Center and the English Language Training Center. Finally, I would like to emphasize that the ASEAN-India Summit has yielded fruitful achievements and hold great promises for all member states. Therefore, further efforts should be accelerated and closely interacted.

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Remarks at the 12th ASEAN+3 Summit

Hua Hin, Thailand, 24th October 2009

(14:10 –15:40)

Excellency Chairman of the Meeting,

Your Majesty the Sultan,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is my great pleasure today to participate in the ASEAN+3 Summit once again to review the progress of our past cooperation and set future direction in order that our integration will be more solid and we are able to deal with the challenges together. I am very pleased to note that through the spirit of solidarity and sharing, our cooperation has been further strengthened, in which initiatives and cooperation have been discussed and agreed upon and some of them are to be signed today.

Since the world population has been increasing, the food security is a long term and sensitive issues, which are to be tackled by all countries. The food demand has been tremendously increasing due to the increase of world population, higher incomes and changes in food ration. The sharp increase in food prices has had a negative impact on poverty and has made the vulnerable people face with food shortage and malnutrition. The food security is even more pronounced in the ASEAN+3 Community as some members are still considered as developing countries. It is true that this highlights new opportunities for a number of countries in our region, which are highly potential for agriculture.

At the same time, we recognize that the demand for energy in the future will increase along with the economic growth in the ASEAN+3 Countries. Therefore, with the uncertainty of energy market as we witnessed in the last decade, the bio-energy is truly important for development. However, with the recent rising food price and suffering of the people, it should be noted that the bio-energy development is not productive because the land for food production should not be used for bio-energy. There is a need to strike a balance between food for consumption and bio-energy. In this connection, I would like to welcome and highly appreciate the ASEAN+3 Declaration on Food Security and Bio-Energy Cooperation. This action is not only to strengthen our commitments to the well-beings of our people but also contribute to the global food security and bio-energy cooperation.

As an agricultural country, Cambodia welcomes investment in infrastructure, technological transfer and technical assistance in order to improve agricultural productivity. To avoid food shortage in the future, technology will play crucial role as it leads to the improvement of agriculture productivity. Cambodia is self-sufficient in rice with some remaining for export and contained extensive land surface, which has not been used at the maximum potential yet. Therefore, together with the investment to improve agriculture productivity, Cambodia may become another crucial rice barn for the region and the world.

There are early indications that the various fiscal measures implemented in ASEAN and in the plus three countries to help mitigate the impact of the crisis are producing positive results. Despite the fact that only a mild global recovery is expected, there are good reasons to believe that East Asia will emerge from the global downturn more rapidly than other economies. This hopeful sign has provided synergy for the systematic and well-sequenced policy measures taken by Cambodia to pave the way for economic recovery. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my high appreciation for the effective fiscal stimulus packages that are being implemented in East Asia. All these measures helped East Asia to respond to the crisis timely, effectively and avoid disruptive social and political tensions.

In spite of the rapid recovery in the region, this current global financial crisis presents opportunity for ASEAN and the plus three countries to strengthen cooperation and deepen regional integration in the areas of finance, trade and investment, physical infrastructure network linkage, agriculture, tourism, education as well as public health. Further opening market and increasing supports to build physical infrastructure and human resources development from Plus Three countries to least developing countries in ASEAN would help mitigate negative impacts of global financial crisis, fasten ASEAN integration and facilitate East Asia integration in longer term perspective.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome and support the decision to increase size of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) from USD80 billion to USD120 billion, in which the Plus Three countries are responsible for 80% while ASEAN member states are responsible for only 20% as agreed by ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers' Meeting in February 2009. With this, I believe the early implementation of the CMI multilateralization of swap arrangements would well serve as self-help mechanism to protect our region in the future possible financial shock.

For future direction of East Asia cooperation, I would like to commend the outcome of the Feasibility Studies on Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and on East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA), which focused on three main pillars (1) trade and investment liberalizations, (2) trade facilitation, and (3) cooperation in economic development. Nevertheless, there is still a need to have an in-depth discussion on the recommendations provided by the study, before they can be translated into policy options. The evolution of East of Asia should move at a pace that is comfortable to all parties, which ASEAN should a driving force.

Finally, I believe that the solidity of cooperation and our steadfast commitment will be able to solve all kinds of challenges as well as to turn these challenges into opportunities for the prosperity of our people.

EndItem.

Remarks at the 4th East Asia Summit

Hua Hin, Thailand, 25th October 2009

(09:00 – 11:00)

Excellency Chairman,

Your Majesty the Sultan,

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is my great honor and pleasure to attend this 4th East Asia Summit. Today Summit has taken place at a critical juncture which we still need to be vigilant about the impacts of the global financial and economic crisis on our economies. It is also a time that we need to consider how to move forward together to ensure speedy economic recovery.

We are aware that tackling the crisis and triggering speedy recovery simultaneously is not easy. In this context, East Asia Region needs to be more liberalized and integrated in all aspects of our economies, trade, financial sector, labor etc. Our policy must be coordinated and interconnected. In this connection, I am pleased to see the G-20 taking the lead in addressing the global financial crisis by setting out concrete measures. And I would like to express my thank for strong support for the Joint Press Statement of East Asia Summit on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis issued by Thailand in June as the ASEAN Chair and the EAS Coordinator.

I also commend the recent Statement from Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Governing Board Meeting which called upon us to take coordinated measures against the impact of the global financial and economic crisis focusing on: (i) expanding domestic demand in East Asia through reducing poverty, expanding and strengthening middle class, enhancing social safety net, promoting SMEs development, (ii) maximizing industrial development in East Asia through develop domestic and inter-country transport and logistics linkages in the region, especially through improvement of both hard and soft infrastructures. Within this, I appreciate efforts made by ERIA in cooperation with ADB and ASEAN Secretariat in preparing the “Comprehensive Development Master Plan in Asia”, (iii) deepening regional economic integration through trade and investment liberalization in tandem with domestic policy reforms and institutional strengthening.

For future direction of East Asia cooperation, I would like to express my full support the outcome of the feasibility studies on Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and on East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) which focused on three main pillars (1) trade and investment liberalizations, (2) trade facilitation, and (3) cooperation in economic development. Nevertheless, there is still a need to have an in-depth discussion on the recommendations provided by the study for different levels, before they can be translated into concrete policy options. The evolution of East Asia region should move at a pace that is comfortable to all parties for which ASEAN is centered.

At global level, Cambodia supports the acceleration of Doha negotiation on development under WTO framework to be succeeded and concluded as soon as possible. This will contribute significantly to the recovery from global financial crisis as well as opening market access to least developing countries like Cambodia.

Climate change still remains the greatest threat to all of us. We all have acknowledged the strong correlation between climate change and natural disaster. Many countries have been suffering from a wave of natural disasters such as typhoon Ketsana, typhoon Melor, earthquake in Indonesia, flood in India, etc. Not long ago, cyclone Nargis had also created severe damage in Burma. The recent natural disasters remind us a grim impact from the climate change. Cambodia is no exception from this natural disaster, especially typhoon Ketsana. Many lives have been claimed, properties have been damaged and a huge agricultural farm land has been destroyed.

In this sense, I would like to express high appreciation to recent statement made by H.E Prime Minister of Japan on the policy aiming to address environmental issue and climate change.

Indeed, some natural disasters are of massive magnitude which cannot be curbed with by a single country. In this connection, I would like to express my utmost support for the Statement on EAS Disaster Management which is to be adopted today. We must closely cooperate to strengthen individual country's preparedness and capacity to deal with unforeseen disasters. Sharing information from the early warning systems and joint simulation exercise should be expanded to cover all East Asian countries. Promptly accessing to sites and saving lives after the natural disaster is also critical. Therefore, we need to be ready all the time to lend support to mitigate the impacts from these natural disasters. Cambodia, like other developing countries, needs both financial and technical assistance to improve its disaster management capacity.

To conclude my remarks, I would like to reiterate our commitment to jointly mitigate the impacts of the financial crisis and to quickly restore economy. At the same time, our consensus on crisis disaster management will allow us to build a concrete action plan to respond timely and effectively, should any kind of disaster happen.

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