Excellency Najib Razak, Chairman of the Meeting,
Excellency Barack Obama, President of the United States of America,
Your Majesty the Sultan, Excellencies ASEAN Leaders,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!
First of all, I would like to join other ASEAN leaders to warmly welcome His Excellency Barack Obama, President of the United States of America to the 3rd ASEAN-U.S. Summit.
This year, 2015, is the historic year for ASEAN to officially launch the ASEAN communities, namely ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. This significant progress is the result of the initiatives and efforts of the ASEAN member states as well as supports from dialogue partners, including the United States of America.
The U.S. has been one of the key dialogue partners for ASEAN in contributing to the peace, stability, prosperity and other efforts in the region. In this spirit, I would like to express my warm acclamation and full support to the recent achievements, which resulted from the ASEAN-U.S. relationship, namely the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership and the New ASEAN-U.S. Plan of Action (2016-2020), which will be adopted in this summit.
With such initiatives, I have a great confidence that the ASEAN-U.S. relation will be strengthened further and I also would like appeal to the U.S to promote more trades and continue to expand the scope of the dialogues of ASEAN-U.S. Business Advisory Council targeting to share a win-win situation amongst the two parties as well as to promote more investment to ASEAN; especially to the least developed member states in order to contribute to the development and narrow the development gap in the region. Meanwhile, Cambodia would like to request to the U.S. to provide Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) on at least 97% of the total commodities, with tariff exemption and quota-free, to the least developed member states in accordance with the previous agreement under the WTO frameworks.
I would also like to take this opportunity, to call on the U.S. to continue in supporting human resource development in Cambodia, especially amongst the youths who will become the future leaders, through providing more scholarships to high school and university students.
This year, a number of countries in Asia-Pacific have been affected by El Nino, which has caused the water scarcity and impacted on agriculture sector. The effects are resulted from the climate change, which is obviously happening and it requires enhancing cooperation amongst all relevant stakeholders. In this regard, Cambodia would like to request to strengthen cooperation in implementing the ASEAN-US Joint Statement on Climate Change, which was adopted in 2014.
Finally, I would like to emphasize that a continuous fight against international terrorism and the extremist groups, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) remains as a hot topic and compelled for joint efforts to find solution and launch the solid, firm, intertwining and complementing mechanisms to defeat and demolish international terrorism networks and the extremist groups, ISIS, as well as to prevent a spread of extremism to other regions.