Nanning (FN), Sep. 17 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Manet said that cooperation combined with free and open trade is the only path to peace and shared prosperity.

Samdech Thipadei spoke in the 20th China-ASEAN Expo 2023 under the theme "Work Together for a Harmonious Home and a Shared Future" on 16 September 2023 in Nanning, China.

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," the premier underscored.

"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 USD 722 billion last year," the premier continued.

When COVID19 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, Samdech Thipadei 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.