Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), noted the thriving state of the Cambodian economy, recalling that he had seen it first-hand during his visit to the ASEAN Summit hosted by Cambodia last in 2022.

Schwab made the remarks during his September 6 meeting with Prime Minister Hun Manet on the sidelines of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. He briefed Manet on the purpose of the WEF, noting that he wanted to increase cooperation with ASEAN and Cambodia alike.

Manet spoke highly of the WEF, saying it is compatible with the first phase of his government’s Pentagonal Strategy, particularly with regard to the development of the private sector, the economy and a digital society.

“I complimented the WEF’s role in contributing to connecting the public and private sectors and conveying the achievements of the government and potential of Cambodia to the international stage,” he said in a social media post after the meeting.

Schwab also extended an invitation for Manet to attend a forum to be held soon in Davos, Switzerland. The Cambodian side agreed to examine the possibility of attending the forum.

Hong Vannak, an economic researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, opined that Schwab was likely to have based his assessment of the Kingdom’s economic situation on figures from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank, as well as other trustworthy financial institutions, including those of Cambodia.

He said that while Cambodia has positively developed sectors such as trade, foreign investment and tourism growth, it has also introduced mechanisms to strengthen the economy, like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

“Preparations of internal affairs, reforms, the creation of a favourable investment environment, the strengthening of human resources, infrastructure growth and expansion into new markets all point to stable and unabated growth of the Kingdom’s economic development,” he added.