ASEAN Secretary-General Extends Congratulations to New Cambodian PM

date_range 23-Aug-2023
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Phnom Penh, August 23, 2023 --

Secretary-General of ASEAN H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn has conveyed his best wishes and congratulations to H.E. Kitti Tesaphibal Pundit Hun Manet on his assumption of office as the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia on Aug. 22, 2023.

“Your election as Cambodia's Head of Government is a testament to the trust that the people of Cambodia has placed in your leadership to drive the continued peace, development and prosperity of the country,” he said in his congratulatory message to the Cambodian new Prime Minister.

Since becoming a member of ASEAN in 1999, he recalled, Cambodia has and continues to make strides to contribute immensely towards the ASEAN Community-building agenda. Cambodia's commitment to ASEAN's development and integration was most recently demonstrated through its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2022, during which Cambodia led the region in returning to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic had begun to subside.

“Cambodia has always played an important role in upholding ASEAN Centrality and unity, even during tumultuous and challenging times, as evident in the successful convening of the Second ASEAN Global Dialogue in November 2022. Cambodia has also consistently promoted ASEAN's active engagement in the wider region, which was manifested in the adoption of the ASEAN Leaders' Declaration on Mainstreaming Four Priority Areas of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific within ASEAN-led Mechanism and the adoption of the Concept Note on ASEAN Roadmap for Promoting ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific in November 2022. It is significant that this Statement has kick-started the efforts to streamline the implementation of the AOIP across all ASEAN Sectoral Bodies,” he added.

Cambodia's ASEAN Chairmanship has also made a mark in international history. After eleven years, H.E. Kao Kim Hourn underlined, Timor-Leste's application to become a member of ASEAN has achieved meaningful progress after the adoption of the ASEAN Leaders' Statement on the Application for ASEAN Membership during the 40th and 41 ASEAN Summits and Related Summits in Phnom Penh. Under Cambodia's leadership, Timor-Leste was able to be admitted in-principle as the 11th Member of ASEAN. Owing to the observer status granted by the ASEAN Leaders, Timor-Leste is now able to enjoy the privilege of attending all ASEAN meetings including the ASEAN Summits. This, in turn, has tremendously contributed to Timor-Leste's progress in readying themselves to become a full member of ASEAN.

In addition to the above deliverables, he continued, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, which is the world's largest Free Trade Agreement, was signed in Cambodia last year after 10 years of negotiations which were launched in Cambodia in 2012. This RCEP Agreement would undoubtedly provide huge benefits for both ASEAN and its partners in doing businesses with ASEAN, in consistent with the projection that ASEAN to be the fourth largest economy in the world by 2030.

“I strongly believe that under your able leadership as the Prime Minister, Cambodia would continue to lead to an even brighter future for the benefits of its people as well as for the peoples of ASEAN,” he said. “The ASEAN Secretariat stands ready to continue rendering our fullest support to and working hand in hand with Cambodia and the other ASEAN Member States towards realising our ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and beyond. I look forward to welcoming you to Jakarta for the upcoming 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits next month.”