Excellency Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador and Extraordinary Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Kingdom of Cambodia;
Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen!
Today, it is my great pleasure to join with Excellency Dr. Devyani Khobragade to receive 325,000 (three hundred and twenty-five thousand) doses of COVID-19 COVISHIELD vaccine, a generous gift under the Quad Initiative from the people and government of the Republic of India to the people and government of Cambodia. This precious gift is a true testament to the friendship and solidarity between Cambodia, India and other members of the Quad Initiative including the United States of America, Japan and Australia.
Cambodia would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the members of the Quad Initiative, as well as other countries around the world, for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19 in respective countries, regions and the whole world to ensure rapid recovery of socio-economic activities. That being said, in the current situation, we must not forget that many countries continue to suffer from the spread of COVID-19 and have not yet been able to resume full socio-economic activities. The prolonged spread is a risk for all of us, possibly leading to a recurrence of the outbreak as well as a socio-economic crisis. In this spirit, Cambodia would like to encourage the promotion and acceleration of vaccination to build herd immunity, which is the most appropriate and effective response measure.
In fact, with a proactive spirit and diligent efforts to find vaccines and launch a national vaccination campaign in February 2021, Cambodia could achieve full herd immunity in just about eight months. This brilliant achievement has allowed Cambodia to reopen the country in all sectors on 1 November 2021, and be able to maintain normal socio-economic activities up until now, despite continued threats from the spread of COVID-19, especially the Omicron variant, which spread in Cambodian communities in early 2022. This reflects the effectiveness of vaccines, which have allowed Cambodia to live with COVID-19 in a new normal, in a resilient and safe manner. As a result, recently, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has forecasted that Cambodia’s economy will likely grow by 5.3% and 6.5 % in 2022 and in 2023, respectively.
- Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen!
On behalf of the people and the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to express my gratitude to the Republic of India, a compassionate friend of Cambodia. India’s presence since 1981 after the end of the Khmer Rouge regime has made significant contributions to Cambodia’s socio-economic recovery through humanitarian assistance, support in trade and culture, as well as financial lending in both bilateral and multilateral. frameworks. As a result, Cambodia-India relations in terms of socio-economy, trade and investment have grown remarkably, albeit with slight declines during the spread of COVID-19.
Whilst the spread of COVID-19 has subsided, and we have very well managed the COVID-19 situation, I would like to encourage further strengthening of friendship, promotion of cooperation and strengthening of relations between Cambodia and the members of the Quad Initiative, especially between Cambodia-India in terms of trade, investment, information technology, relaxation of travel requirements and connection through direct flights, and development of tourism.
Finally, I would like to remind Cambodian people to continue to strictly implement health measures, especially on the occasion of the Khmer New Year on 14-16of April 2022. May the New Year Angel bless Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen with good luck, happiness and prosperity.