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ASEM vows supply chain, digitalisation cooperation

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Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) president Kith Meng speaks at the virtual 1st Asia-Europe Economic and Business Forum (AEEBF1) on Thursday. COMMERCE MINISTRY

ASEM vows supply chain, digitalisation cooperation

Eurasian senior officials and private sector representatives on November 25 agreed to work together to prop up global supply and value chains and overcome the challenges posed by the current Covid-19 crisis.

Efforts will involve fleshing out a path towards meaningful digitalisation and adaptation to the obligatory changes, to ensure the reliability and resilience of international trade flows.

The consensus was reached at the virtual 1st Asia-Europe Economic and Business Forum (AEEBF1), which consisted of three presentations and three panel discussions – organised by the Ministry of Commerce – aimed at strengthening multilateralism for inclusive growth.

In Panel Discussion III, participants explored setting up high-priority support frameworks to promote new models on emerging global supply and value chain management trends, the ministry said in a statement.

Topics covered include nearshoring, intra-regional transactions and localisation, contactless delivery and green infrastructure to spur global trade as the world recovers from the crisis, it added.

Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) countries “need to provide the necessary incentives and assistances for the business and industrial communities to remodel themselves as green business, and take advantage of supply and value chain modernisation using future technologies”, the ministry said.

Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak contends that access to and adoption of new technologies could ensure the continued operation of businesses and other private sector entities, which he noted remained integrated into value chains during the pandemic, pushing forward towards a “brighter future”.

“This requires joint effort, along with business facilitation policies and the support of governments and private sectors from Asia and Europe, to make it a reality,” he said.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) president Kith Meng emphasised that the international community attaches great importance to ASEM cooperation and partnerships, which he said would protect and open and integrated system of trade and investment, based on law.

“The full potential and dynamics of the two blocs can manifest into a vibrant market that could become the engine of the global economy and play an important role in sustainable and integrated socio-economic development post-Covid-19,” he said.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, was confident that ASEM countries are clear on how to work well together on the production and supply processes needed to fortify global supply and value chains and meet needs and demands.

“These points are vital to support businesspeople and investors and empower them to see the big picture when it comes to minimising the detrimental effects of modernisation on their businesses,” he told The Post.

ASEM member states account for about 65 per cent of the global economy, and around 55 per cent of global trade, according to the ASEM InfoBoard.

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