Phnom Penh (FN), Oct. 27 – At the 24th ASEAN-Japan Summit held via videoconference, Cambodian premier Hun Sen said that the ASEAN Plus Three mechanism has been the indispensable core driving force for enhancing the cooperation of East Asia as well as for effective responses to crises.

Premier Hun Sen said ASEAN Plus Three region continues to be an essential growth engine for regional and global socio-economic development. He also shared views aimed at strengthening the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation as follows:

First, Cambodia highly appreciates the active efforts of Plus Three countries for contributing to the fight against COVID19 by providing vaccines and medical equipment to Cambodia and other ASEAN member countries.

“With the spirit of promoting the health and well-being of our peoples, Cambodia supports the adoption of Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation on Mental Health among the Adolescents and Young Children,” the premier said.

Second, to expedite socio-economic recovery, the premier urged Plus Three countries to provide more active support for the implementation of regional mechanisms, namely: (1) the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED), (2) the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies (RRMS), (3) the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework (ATCAF), and (4) the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF).

Third, premier Hun Sen requested ASEAN Plus Three countries to further promote effective implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Plan of Action on Mitigating the Economic Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the ASEAN Plus Three Economic Cooperation Work Program 2021-2022. Cambodia also stresses the need for ASEAN Plus Three countries to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to ensure the entry into force of the Agreement in early 2022, with the aim of promoting recovery and stimulating regional economic growth.

Fourth, the premier appreciated the progress of implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Work Plan 2018-2022. In parallel, Cambodia calls for the Work Plan for 2023-2027 to focus on four priorities, namely: (1) public health security, (2) capacity-building for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperation in digital economy, (3) climate-change resilient agricultural production, and (4) sustainable energy.