Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, attended the 26th International Conference on “The Future of Asia” under the theme: “Shaping the Post-Covid Era: Asia’s Role in the Global Recovery”, organised on May 20-21 by Nikkei via Videoconference.

In his remarks this morning, Samdech Techo Hun Sen spoke highly of the conference’s theme, saying that it is an important theme, for all relevant leaders and stakeholders to discuss and exchange views on the regional and global situation and development, particularly on the prospects of the future directions for the development in Asia during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

Undoubtedly, he continued, the year 2020 was the most challenging year in the modern history of the world due to the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused severe public health crisis and led to the disruption of the global socio-economic development. All countries and regions across the world have been affected in all areas; and more than one hundred million people have been infected as well as millions lost their lives. In parallel, the global economy experienced negative growth, which was unprecedented since the Global Financial Crisis, stemming from the sudden disruption of economic activities, trade, supply chains, connectivity and the sharp decline of global demands, coupled with the implementation of administrative measures related to travel restrictions and lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen added that even though the global economy in 2021 is expected to recover, the world is still facing high uncertainty due to the risks of new waves of Covid-19 pandemic and new variants of coronavirus that are more virulent and acute, which could continue disrupting the dynamics of global economy. In addition, vaccination that would ensure herd immunity will take more time while the gap in vaccine accessibility between developing and developed countries will cause uneven economic recovery, as only a few countries could revive their economies, while many others continue experiencing the impacts of both health and economic challenges.

Furthermore, he underlined, the world is also facing other crises and risks, particularly the escalation of geo-political tensions in the region as well as trade and tech war between the superpowers that will also affect the global development for both in the short and long term. Meanwhile, other threatening factors to peace, stability and security are becoming more apparent and putting more pressure on Asia, including multi-polarity trend, competition for interests, changes in regional balance of power and impacts from climate change and natural disasters, which all are affecting and disrupting the sustainability of the development trajectory.

The Cambodian Premier stated that Asia is indeed a region with a prominent role in paving the way for sustainable and inclusive socio economic development in the Post Covid-19 era. In fact, the Covid-19 crisis has vividly reaffirmed that Asia remains the region full of potentials with hope for driving the revival of global development. In 2020, though the world as a whole experienced negative economic growth, some Asian countries were able to maintain positive growth. Moreover, currently some Asian countries have taken the leading role in promoting economic recovery in the region as well as the world through effective containment of the Covid-19 in their countries, particularly providing supports to socio-economic recovery process for other countries in the region via various assistances, cooperation and initiatives.

“It is also important to emphasise that during the last two decades before the Covid-19 pandemic, high growth and rapid development of Asian countries had transformed our region to be the driving force of socio economic progress, poverty reduction and greater income of the people. At present, China is the second (2nd) largest economy and Japan the third one (3rd), while ASEAN and India are the fifth (5th) and sixth (6th), respectively, in the world. Furthermore, accounting for almost 60 percent of world’s population and approximately 30 percent of the world’s GDP, Asia is the important economic centre, market and connecting dot, with great potential for reviving and accelerating the global socio-economic development. In this regard, in the current context, based on these potentials and dynamics, Asia’s economy will become the locomotive of global economy, which would speedily enhance and sustain global recovery from the Covid-19 crisis,” said Samdech Techo Prime Minister.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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