Cambodian PM urges integration of ASEAN community in new normal

Phnom Penh, Nov 12 (IANS): Promoting the integration of ASEAN community in the new normal is a necessary task to create a great force to transform ASEAN into a resilient and competitive region, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said here.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 27th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings through a video link, Hun Sen added besides fighting against the spread of Covid-19 and developing strategies to revitalize and boost economic growth, the world is facing many common issues, such as geopolitics, trade wars and climate change, Xinhua news agency reported.

In order to address all these issues for the benefit and prosperity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Cambodia understands that ASEAN must adhere to multilateralism and solidarity, he added.

"As a way forward, Cambodia views that promoting the integration of ASEAN community in the new normal is a necessary and appropriate task to create a great force aimed at transforming ASEAN as a whole into a resilient, competitive and inclusive region," Hun Sen said.

"In this context, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 will serve as a key plan that will ensure economic growth with minimal development gaps and seamless connectivity among the ASEAN member states and with the world, by further promoting harmony and inclusivity of the three key dimensions of connectivity, namely physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity," he added.

He said Covid-19 will continue to disrupt global transport operations and supply chains for a long term.

Therefore, ASEAN Transport Ministers should continue to closely monitor and examine the process of carrying out the Implementation Plan of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework by focusing on reinforcing regional connectivity to strengthen the potential of ASEAN markets and socio-economic resilience, Hun Sen added.

"In this regard, promoting smooth and timely cross-border transport between ASEAN member states will contribute to the strengthening of strong and sustainable regional production chains," the Cambodian Prime Minister said.

Meanwhile, he said the transport sector emits around 20 per cent of carbon dioxide, which is a major cause of climate change.

"I would like to request ASEAN to continue to strictly implement the ASEAN Transport Strategic Plan 2016-2025 and encourage the use of eco-friendly vehicles," he added.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.



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