Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ASEAN’s economic unity key: minister

ASEAN’s economic unity key: minister

ASEAN’s economic unity key: minister


Aiming for the creation of an ASEAN economic community by 2015 will be Cambodia’s focus at today’s Foreign Ministers Retreat in Siem Reap, according to Secretary of State Soeung Rathchavy.

Soeung Rathchavy chaired yesterday’s ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting to adopt an agenda for the 10 regional foreign ministers who are holding their first retreat under Cambodia’s chairmanship.

“Cambodia pledges to continue to build on the momentum that we have achieved thus far and to intensify our efforts to realise … [an] ASEAN Community by 2015,” Soeung Rathchavy said in her opening remarks.

The first ASEAN meetings hosted with the Kingdom as chair have taken place in Siem Reap, the former home of the Khmer Empire, which symbolises Cambodia’s pride, Soeung Rathchavy said.

The agenda decided for the foreign ministers includes the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights, as well as ASEAN “connectivity”, which encompasses the ASEAN +3 – China, Japan and South Korea.

The three “pillars of connectivity” for ASEAN are people-to-people, physical and institutional connectivity – which are all linked to forming an ASEAN economic community by 2015.

Part of achieving the ASEAN economic community includes all 10 ASEAN countries implementing the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Visa Exemption, which would allow for liberal travel for ASEAN citizens between ASEAN states.

Another top agenda item set by senior officials for the foreign ministers yesterday was a resolution to disputes in the South China Sea and implementation of a conduct protocol on the sea. Cambodia has adamantly opposed any “internationalisation” of the South China Sea disputes and government spokesmen have said the issue was one for only those states involved in disputes, which includes Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia’s major ally, China.

This is the second time Cambodia has chaired ASEAN since joining the regional group in 1999, the first being in 2003.

Also on the agenda for the foreign ministers to discuss today is the possible admission of Timor-Leste to ASEAN, a move Cambodia has said it supports, and ensuring the five nuclear powers – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US – sign the ASEAN Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone Treaty, which would commit them to not using or threatening to use atomic weapons within the ASEAN zone.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh