Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has concluded his three-day official visit in the Republic of Korea.

The following is the outcomes of his visit from Sept. 6 to 8, released this afternoon by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation:

At the invitation of His Excellency CHUNG Eui-yong, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister PRAK Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia has paid an official visit to the Republic of Korea from 06th-08th September 2021. During the visit, the two Ministers held a bilateral meeting and co-chaired the 11th Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

I. Bilateral Meeting

During the bilateral meeting in the morning of 8th September 2021, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister and His Excellency CHUNG Eui-yong noted with satisfaction the dynamically growing bilateral relations and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries in both bilateral and multilateral frameworks as reflected through the frequent exchanges of high-level visits between the two countries.

As the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Korea will commemorate their 25th Anniversary of the re-establishment of Diplomatic Relations next year, the two Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance the good existing bilateral relations for the mutual interests of the two nations, as well as for peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond. To this end, the two ministers discussed on ways and means to deepen the cooperation in the fields of defense, trade, investment, agriculture, labor, health, information and communication technology, science and innovation, tourism, education and environment.

The two Ministers were also pleased to note the stable volumes of bilateral trade between the two countries, and the increase of ROK’s investment in Cambodia despite the COVID-19 pandemic. They shared optimistic views that the Cambodia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) to be signed in early October this year, will further promote the bilateral trade and investment, and boost the economic recovery of both countries in the post-COVID-19 era.

His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister expressed Cambodia’s gratitude to the ROK government for providing development assistance to Cambodia, which has significantly contributed to the socio-economic development in the country. He stressed that Cambodia appreciates ROK’s commitment to expand development assistance under the New Southern Policy of the ROK, and welcomes the New Southern Policy Plus, which focus on seven key areas including comprehensive health and medical cooperation.

The Deputy Prime Minister commended the Korean Government and people for their effective containment of the COVID-19 outbreak, which resulted in a strong socio-economic recovery, and valued the active role of ROK in vaccine multilateralism. He also expressed Cambodia’s appreciation to the government of the Republic of Korea for the donation and medical supplies extended to Cambodia to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The ROK Foreign Minister commended the Royal Government of Cambodia’s effort in laying out the effective measures to combat COVID-19, such as the timely vaccination rollout across the country. He also highly valued Cambodia’s generous assistance to neighboring countries for helping them fighting against COVID-19.

His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister also expressed his sincere appreciation to the Korean Government for taking good care of the Cambodian community in Korea. In response, His Excellency CHUNG Eui-yong expressed his gratitude to Cambodian community in Korea for their positive contribution to the Korea’s economic development and cultural diversification. The Republic of Korea pledged to increase the quota of Cambodian workers and also the number of scholarships for Cambodia in the future.

His Excellency CHUNG Eui-yong reaffirmed that, as Cambodia is one of the ROK’s priority partner countries in the official development assistance (ODA) program and a core partner in ROK New Southern Policy, the ROK will continue to assist and cooperate with Cambodia in the fields of water management, public health, transportation, education and other needed areas of Cambodia.

The ROK Foreign Minister appreciated the active role of Cambodia in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operation to Africa and the Middle East, which contributes to peace and stability in the regions, and thanked Cambodia for her constructive role in coordinating the ASEAN-ROK dialogue relations, and also in the Mekong-ROK cooperation framework.

In addressing the climate change challenges, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister congratulated the ROK for successfully hosting the Second Summit of P4G held in May this year, and expressed Cambodia’s support to the Green New Deal Policy and the commitment of ROK government in achieving the 2050 Carbon Neutrality. On his part, the ROK Foreign Minister expressed ROK’s appreciation to Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen for his contribution to the success of the said Summit, during which he emphasized the need for green technology development.

His Excellency CHUNG Eui-yong reiterated the strong support of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia in virtually hosting the 13th Asia-Europe Summit in November 2021, and assuming the ASEAN chairmanship next year.

During the luncheon hosted by His Excellency CHUNG Eui-yong, both Ministers have also exchanged views on the regional and international issues of common concern.

II. The 11th Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

In the afternoon of 08th September 2021, His Excellency PRAK Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia, co-chaired the 11th Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with His Excellency CHUNG Eui-yong, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, in Seoul. The meeting was also attended by the other Mekong countries, namely Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam, via video conference.

The Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers reviewed the progress made thus far under the Mekong-ROK cooperation based on the three pillars of People, Prosperity and Peace and the seven priority areas in the Mekong-Han River Declaration—(i) Culture and Tourism, (ii) Human Resources Development, (iii) Agriculture and Rural Development, (iv) Infrastructure, (v) Information and Communication Technology (ICT), (vi) Environment, and (vii) Non-traditional Security Challenges. The Ministers renewed their commitment to further facilitating the wider application of ICT in governance, strengthening cooperation, engagement of private sector and promoting further investment in future industries and digital transformation in the Mekong sub-region, especially in the field of digital economy, national single window, e-commerce, cybersecurity, secured 5G network, artificial intelligence and big data, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging challenges.

The Meeting agreed to extend “the Mekong-ROK Exchange Year” to 2022 to foster cultural exchanges and deepen mutual understanding by holding various events among the six countries pending the endorsement at the 3rd Mekong-ROK Summit. In addition, the Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers welcomed with high hopes the 9th Mekong-ROK Business Forum, which will be held in Cambodia later this year.

Taking this opportunity, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister accentuated the pivotal role of the Mekong-ROK Cooperation Frameworks and New Southern Policy Plus (NSPP) in maintaining peace and stability in the Mekong sub-region. On collective determination to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, he underscored the need to speed up the vaccination process in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner. As for initial economic recovery amidst the pandemic, he further highlighted that member countries must plan for a safe travel through a regional recognition of vaccine certificate, an efficient PCR Check-point at all airports and borders, and an interconnected COVID-19 contact-tracing and monitoring system.

His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister stressed that our regional Post-pandemic Recovery Plan should also be carefully deployed to ensure resilience and sustainability of our economies through stronger public-private cooperation, capacity building of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and enhancement of soft and hard connectivity to facilitate trade and investment, green energy, and digital transformation in the Mekong sub-region.

At the end of the Meeting, the Ministers adopted the Co-chaired Statement of the 11th Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and endorsed seven supported projects for 2021 under 5th batch of the Mekong-ROK Cooperation Fund (MKCF) for the six Mekong-ROK countries and the Mekong Institute (MI).

The Meeting concluded with fruitful outcomes through shared understanding on regional and international issues, particularly the joint efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and commitment to build resilience for the regional economy.

III- Meeting with Cambodian Community:

Taking the opportunity of the visit, on 7th September, 2021 His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister has also met virtually with the Cambodian Community in the Republic of Korea and conveyed Samdech Techo Prime Minister’s regard to them. His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister also encouraged them to work and study hard in order to gain more experience and knowhow to improve the living standard of their families as well as for the development of our country. Additionally, they are also advised to take good care of their health and strictly follow health measures of the Korean authority during this difficult time caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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