ASEAN Chairman Urges for More Cooperation with China

Before his term as the rotating Chair of ASEAN to end in 12 days, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen urged here this morning the ASEAN and China to deepen more cooperation.

“ASEAN and China must pay crucial attention to deepening cooperation in all areas, particularly such that accelerate socio-economic integration, remove trade barriers, enhance the resiliency of regional supply and production chains, embrace new opportunities arising from digital economy, green growth, energy transition, and increase the capabilities for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which is regarded as a pillar of economic growth in the new normal, and especially the adherence to multilateralism approach for resolving all issues,” he said at the presentation ceremony of the “Distinguished World Leader Lifetime Achievement Award” to him by the Global Chinese Economic and Technology Summit and the Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific (KSI) on “Enhancing ASEAN-China Relations”.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen also suggested ASEAN and China work together to further promote regional cooperation that is open, transparent, inclusive, complementary, and mutually beneficial.

“Maintaining the prestige of ASEAN in all aspects at global stage is inseparable from the engagement of ASEAN dialogue partners, especially China, which is recognised as the world’s second largest economic Superpower,” he stressed.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen said ASEAN-China cooperation has grown steadily over the past three decades, reflecting through establishment of the “ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” in 2021, and now is moving towards the establishment of an upcoming “China-ASEAN Free Trade Area version 3.0”.

For instance, he pointed out, China is ASEAN’s the largest trading partner, with total merchandise trade between ASEAN and China increased to around US$669 billion in 2021, up 28 percent, while the inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) from China to ASEAN amounted to US$13.6 billion in 2021, which almost doubled the value compared to that in 2020. With these contributions, based on the assessment and forecast of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) last October, the ASEAN region will be able to achieve growth rate of 5.3 percent and 4.9 percent in 2022 and 2023, respectively, which is a high rate compared to other regions of the world.