- Your Excellencies, Leaders of CLMV Member Countries
- Excellency Secretary-General of ASEAN
- Excellency Under-Secretary General of the UN and Executive Secretary of ESCAP
- Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Once again, I have great pleasure to further attend this 8th CLMV Summit. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the important role played by the CLMV cooperation, particularly during the early stage of building ASEAN Economic Community; and highly appreciate the contribution made by our cooperation to reducing the regional development gap and enhancing the well-being and quality of life for our people. Certainly, we have made achievements such as in developing good neighborliness, strengthening our traditional friendships and expanding sustainable and comprehensive cooperation through implementing an agenda of closer policy coordination and joint actions to ensure a peaceful, stable and prosperous future for the region.
Nevertheless, we are fully aware of the challenges we are facing, including the lack of resource and capacity, weak infrastructure, adverse impact of climate change and the uncertainty of global and regional economies. In this context, we need to continue focusing on our priorities, to strengthen macroeconomic stability and deeper structural reforms in our respective country, as well as to further enhance our cooperation, particularly in the 9 priority areas including: (1) tourism, (2) trade and investment, (3) human resource development, (4) agriculture, (5) industry, (6) energy, (7) transportation, (8) information technology, and (9) telecommunication, in order to ensure a robust and sustained economic growth. In this framework, I am of the view that the physical connectivity through developing transport and energy infrastructure is utmost important priority to promote regional, trade and tourism. Besides, we are also required to further address other challenges including in expanding production bases and technological development, as well as in developing highly skilled human resource that will make important contribution to the growth of our economies.
In this spirit, I would like to make additional comments concerning key priorities of cooperation as follows:
- Further promoting agricultural sector which is the key foundation of economic growth and development in the region: Certainly, agriculture sector has experienced tremendous development over the past decade. However, the recent developments in migration and urbanization, growing young labor force and adverse impacts of climate change have posed challenges to CLMV countries in further sustaining and promoting agricultural productivities and yields in order to contribute inclusive growth, poverty reduction and securing food security. In this regard, our cooperation and coordination in agriculture development should remain one of our important priority programs.
- Continue attaching high priority to strengthening education and training in the region: This is indeed a very important task. We should devote greater efforts toward increasing high quality labor force, strengthening and expanding the stock of human capital and their productivity, and promoting digital and other soft connectivity particularly through advancing our technical and science cooperation, technology transfers and human resource and institutional development which are required for upgrading our traditional industries and further promoting economic growth in the region.
- Further strengthening connectivity through our transport, trade, investment and tourism cooperation: Greater connectivity in these areas will contribute to our efforts in economic diversification, narrowing regional development gaps, and especially in enabling our region to overcome the impact of global economic downturn. In this regard, I think that CLMV leaders should make a joint appeal for additional cooperation and support from all the development partners in order to promote infrastructure development in the region, especially support from the Government of Japan, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and other development partners.
- Further strengthening regional competitiveness in manufacturing sector through implementing support policies and cooperation as well as other initiatives in the region: This task should be further carried out through expanding full coverage of financial services, technology transfers, and developing SME and skills. In this regard, we should encourage private sector to engage as much as possible in the implementation of relevant projects in this area.
Overall, I would like to reiterate that our tasks ahead lie in not only putting in place a highly creative working process, but also in finding resource to finance our projects so that they will become implementable activities that produce tangible results.
I strongly believe that deeper economic integration and closer relations between countries in the region will promote trust and secure peace, stability and prosperity, including creating more potential, which are the pre-requisites for social and economic development of participating countries. To this end, Cambodia is firmly committed to working together with the CLMV countries in order to successfully implement our action plans in every sector to achieve the expected outcomes.
I would like to end my remarks with an optimistic expectation that the CLMV cooperation will continue making its enormous contribution to our efforts to transform our region into an epicenter of sustainable economic growth, which are marked by peace, security, prosperity and harmony for all our people.