Remarks of Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei HUN MANET Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia at the Twentieth China-ASEAN Expo 2023 under the theme “Work Together for a Harmonious Home and a Shared Future”


  • Excellency Li Qiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China
  • Excellencies Heads of State and Government
  • Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am very pleased to attend the Opening Ceremony of the China-ASEAN Expo for the first time today. For the Twentieth Anniversary of the Expo and the Tenth Anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, I extend my sincere congratulations.

Amid global uncertainties, holding the China-ASEAN Expo is significant in forging closer and harmonious regional relations and helping to promote sustainable development. Above all, it shows that cooperation combined with free and open trade is the only path to peace and shared prosperity.

We enjoy excellent cooperation through ASEAN-led regional architecture. This includes the ASEAN-China Free-Trade Agreement, RCEP and many bilateral trade agreements. Within these frameworks, this Expo is a concrete activity that creates synergies to increase trade between ASEAN and China. We are all very proud that ASEAN-China trade reached 722 billion dollars last year.

  • Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

When Covid upended the world, movements of people declined but we saw first-hand that movements of goods continued to flourish. In 2021 and 2022, trade in goods even exceeded pre-pandemic levels highlighting the essential role of commerce in ensuring the socio-economic security of people around the world.

As the pandemic subsides, we face new challenges such as rising commodity prices, food insecurity and climate change. Here, I would like to highlight the important role of trade in tackling these global challenges to ensure that interdependence and globalization are mutually beneficial. Trade should not be used as a weapon that undermines global economic security.

In this sense, ASEAN and China are key players. We can show the world examples of tangible benefits of strengthening multilateral cooperation – without leaning towards protectionism, unilateralism or economic nationalism. Going forward, ASEAN and China need to reinforce our cooperation and interdependence – by further opening markets and improving connectivity, supply chain resilience, supply-linked production capacity and trade facilitation. We also need to work together to promote two-way investment. In addition, we should strengthen technical support – especially in complying with market requirements and demands. Such support will help ensure that developing countries truly benefit from market openings resulting from multilateral trading mechanisms.

  • Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Under the new mandate of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I’d like to reiterate our continued efforts to improve our business and investment climate by cutting costs and improving the efficiency of transport and logistics. Our aim is to raise productivity to meet the needs of all investors.

Cambodia is deeply committed to collaborating with all government and private-sector stakeholders in the region to support trade activities that help address regional and global challenges.

Finally, I am confident that the Twentieth China-ASEAN Expo will run smoothly and achieve fruitful results – and wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen good health and success in all your endeavors.

Thank you!