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Hun Sen calls for joint Covid fight

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Prime Minister Hun Sen stressed the importance of reviving global trade which, in the past, had been an economic boon and lifted many out of poverty. AKP

Hun Sen calls for joint Covid fight

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday called for world unity in the fight against Covid-19 and urged leaders to help restore prosperity to the region and the globe.

Speaking at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit 2020, Hun Sen said each country should be active and flexible in their leadership styles as the world attempts to bounce back from several pandemic-induced problems.

Held under the theme Restoring Prosperity in a Post Pandemic World, the summit was hosted by the UN Industrial Development Organisation and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates.

Hun Sen stressed the importance of reviving global trade which, in the past, had been an economic boon for nations and lifted many out of poverty.

“In this context, we must ensure that our cooperative mechanism can maintain a spirit of open-mindedness and support for multilateral trade,” he said.

Hun Sen reminded those in attendance that it has been nine months since the world first encountered Covid-19, an event that triggered unprecedented crises for societies and economies across the globe.

He said it has been predicted that global production will drop, investments will decrease, and people will stop travelling – factors which will increase inequality in society.

Newly planned digital policies related to Industrial Revolution 4.0, he added, will be stalled as well, especially in least developed countries.

Covid-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December last year and has spread worldwide, infecting millions of people and killing hundreds of thousands.

Since August 15, Cambodia has reported only one new Covid-19 case, which was imported from France. That brings the total tally to 274 since the Kingdom recorded the first case in January. Of the number, 272 have been discharged from hospitals.

Hun Sen said the pandemic has been kept under control in Cambodia and there still has not been any case of community transmission. Cambodia has also not imposed severe lockdown measures.

However, he said the pandemic has posed serious problems for the textile, tourism, and aviation service industries.

Listing down some of the measures Cambodia had implemented to ease the burden of the virus on the people, he said they included tax relief schemes; exemption of social security fund contributions and wage subsidies for workers and employees working in the garment and tourism sectors.

Others were the special financing schemes to rehabilitate and promote small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and cash support for the poor.

After the rescheduled Khmer New Year holidays last month, schools have gradually reopened along with museums, casinos, restaurants and cinemas.

The public is also allowed to celebrate Pchum Ben while Muslims have been permitted to gather in mosques, Hun Sen said.

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