Special Remarks By Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei HUN MANET, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia At the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2023


  • Mr. Mohammad Arsjad Rasjid P.M., Chair of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC),
  • Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen;

I am pleased to join the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2023, to deliver Special Remarks on “ASEAN in the Pursuit of Peace and Prosperity”. I would like to, first, thank the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) for its relentless efforts to make this summit happen annually, whereby key deliverables from the discussion among key stakeholders can be served as inputs for the consideration of ASEAN Leaders to address challenges faced by the private sector.

Facing many global challenges, we are living in a difficult time with great uncertainties. Geo-political rivalry between major powers is tightening, causing constant changes to regional and global economy and trade and putting greater pressure on peace, security and prosperity for ASEAN as a whole. The ongoing Ukraine War, in particular, has caused tremendous destruction to the Ukrainian people, yet far beyond the border of the war, we all directly and indirectly suffer the ripple effects ranging from the disruptions of supply chains and slower growth of the world economy.

  • Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen;

Cambodia has been actively advocating and engaging in regional and global peace and security matters. On regional level, as Cambodia assumed its ASEAN Chairmanship role in 2022, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the Former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, led a high-level delegation to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, to advocate deescalating tension and enabling constructive dialogues among relevant stakeholders to achieve enduring peace and national development, and shared Win-Win Policy success drawn from the lessons learnt in Cambodia. On global level, we have transformed ourselves from a recipient country of the UN Blue Berets deployment to become an active contributing country in UN Peacekeeping Operations in some hotspot countries of the world, as evidenced by the UN peacekeeping and mine clearance missions in Africa and the Middle East.

We strongly believe that war cannot end by war. True peace and prosperity would only stem from peaceful settlement of conflicts through dialogue and consultation based on win-win approach, whereby it is imperative to have the participation and agreement of all parties involved, in a spirit of mutual understanding, setting the well-being of the people as a top priority.

In a broader context, ASEAN and the international communities must exert leadership in opposing the use or the threat of force against a sovereign state, while concerted effort is indispensable. In the meantime, Members of ASEAN and the United Nations must adhere to the spirit of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, equality and non-interference, stipulated in the ASEAN and UN Charters.

  • Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen;

ASEAN has become the fifth largest economy in the world. The success story of ASEAN has always been based on peaceful cooperation, with active and proactive participation from the private sector, as a pre-requisite for socio- economic and human development. By having peace as a core fundamental value, ASEAN has forged stronger regional partnerships among its member states to enhance prosperity in the region and beyond. In this spirit, ASEAN must strive to strengthen its Unity and Centrality and advance the ASEAN Economic Community building process to sustain ASEAN as a region of critical importance and a major center of prosperity, which can be equally and inclusively shared.

In the current regional and global context, to achieve common prosperity, it is imperative that the strengthening and the deepening of ASEAN Economic Integration further contribute to narrowing development gap within ASEAN itself. The promotion of intra-ASEAN trade and investment, in particular, ought to be meaningful and leave no one behind. To realize this vision, ASEAN must strive in a concerted effort to secure a timely conclusion of a better, forward-looking, and more practical ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement upgrade. Equally important, we ought to fully and effectively utilize the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), while ensuring that the existing ASEAN Free Trade Agreements and economic cooperation with all ASEAN Dialogue Partners are still of critical importance and relevant for businesses and investors.

Moreover, ASEAN should take full advantage of the change in economic architecture to become more resilient, by accelerating inclusive ASEAN digital transformation, enhancing the participation of MSMEs in the regional and global supply chains, and being more forward-looking and adaptive to emerging issues such as climate change, food security, pandemics and others.

  • Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen!

Cambodia attaches crucial importance to “Peace, Political Stability and Security”. From a country marked by decades of wars, Cambodia has been enjoying peace and, through peace, has graduated into a lower-middle income country status, having sustained its economic growth of 7% per annum. Cambodia, therefore, holds true that “Peace, Political Stability and Security” are the prerequisites and core establishment for socio-economic and human. development, without which basic rights and freedom of the people cannot be protected, much less prosperity and development.

As I assumed the premiership in this 7th term, the Royal Government of Cambodia has recently launched a new national overarching strategy, called the Pentagonal Strategy. The overall strategic mission is to safeguard and nurture hard-gained peace and to accelerate national development to achieve the milestone of becoming a high-income country by 2050. This Strategy has sets out Five Strategic Pentagons, including: 1). Human capital development, 2). Economic diversification and competitiveness enhancement, 3). Development of private sector and employment, 4). Resilient, sustainable and inclusive development, and 5). Development of digital economy and society.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to emphasize the importance the Royal Government places on the essential role of the private sector in contributing to Cambodia’s remarkable prosperity. Improving the business and investment climate has always been one of the top priorities of the Royal Government. For instance, to promote business and investment with sufficient incentives, protection, predictability and opportunities, the Royal Government has adopted the Law on Investment and the Law on Public-Private Partnership, together with free-trade agreements, and bilateral and multilateral collaboration.

  • Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen!

As the new prime minister of Cambodia, I would like to assure that Cambodia continues to be committed to the multilateral system, rule-based international order and principle of non-interference, in order to protect and promote peace both at home and in the world. We will work closely with all ASEAN member states as well as private sectors to foster inclusivity, peace, and prosperity in the region and beyond. Cambodia stands ready to welcome all prospective investors to the Kingdom, where opportunities are abundant.

Finally, I wish this Summit a great success and wish Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen the four Buddha blessings of longevity, nobility, health, and strength.

Thank You!