H.E. Mr. PRAK Sokhonn, Senior Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
 Her Majesty the Queen-Mother NORODOM MONINEATH SIHANOUK of Cambodia
 His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath NORODOM SIHAMONI, the King of Cambodia
 Samdech Akka Moha Sena Pedei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia
Speech by H.E. HOR Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
at the 6th World Chinese Economic Forum,
Chongqing, China, 4 December 2014

Excellency Yu Ping,
Vice-Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)

Dato Dr. Micheal Yeoh,
CEO of Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI)

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

   First of all, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) for inviting me to speak to this 6th World Chinese Economic Forum in this beautiful city of Chongqing.

      I am very glad to have the opportunity to address this distinguished Forum. As representative of my country and also as a member of ASEAN, I would like to focus my intervention first on ASEAN China Cooperation and also shortly on Cambodia-China relations.

      As the second largest economy in the world, China’s economic development over the past 2 decades have been a pride for Asia and is, without doubt, a rare case in the history of economic development of the world. China is already a leading trade partner and increasingly an important source of foreign direct investment throughout the world.

   According to the International Monetary Fund, the size of China’s economy of 17.63 trillion will surpass by the end of this year the United States, in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). China’s sustained economic rise is also important for South East Asia. Since the beginning of the new century, China’s trade with the world has grown from 100 billion US Dollars to 1.3 trillion US dollars. China is already a leading trade partner and increasingly an important source of foreign direct investment.

    I believe that the meeting today and tomorrow is very much timely and relevant at a time when China is seeking ways to further enhance connectivity with the region and the larger world through two major initiatives, namely: “the Economic Belt along the Silk Road” and the "Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century”.

    The "Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century", will have a clear win-win strategic significance for China with its southern neighbourhood, in particular with South East Asia. Cambodia believes that the Maritime Silk Road will for sure complement and supplement the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), adopted by ASEAN leaders in October 2010. This Master Plan embraces key strategies and actions in each of the three dimensions of physical, institutional and people-to-people linkages to serve as a backbone of economic and social development of South East Asia.

    As a matter of fact, China is the first country to establish with ASEAN in 2003 the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity that covers a comprehensive and in-depth areas of political, security, economic, and social cooperation. This Strategic Partnership has significantly contributed to peaceful cooperation, stability and prosperity of the region.

    In the area of trade, China continues to be ASEAN’s largest trading partner since 2009, while ASEAN continues to be China’s third largest trading partner since 2011. According to ASEAN statistics, the two-way trade volume reached 350.5 billion USD in 2013 and representing an increase of 9.7% year on year. ASEAN and China have recently agreed to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) with the view to achieving the targeted trade volume of 500 billion US dollars by 2015 and 1 trillion US dollars by 2020.

    On the investment side, China has committed 10 billion US dollars to China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund in 2010. And China announced the injection of an additional 10 billion US dollars in 2011. ASEAN and China are looking to achieving a two-way investment goal of 150 billion US dollars by 2020.

    Moreover, ASEAN also very much appreciates China's bold initiative to set up last October, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in which Cambodia and 8 ASEAN member states are founding members, with a funding of 100 Billion US dollars to provide financial support to regional infrastructure. Cambodia hopes that the AIIB, with the Silk Road Fund of 40 Billion US Dollars, as announced by President Xi Jinping last November in Beijing, would contribute to provide great opportunities for the development of Infrastructure in the region, including South East Asia.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    As you all are aware, we are almost over 1 year away from realizing the ASEAN Community by the end of 2015. I have no doubt that all the ASEAN-China mechanisms of cooperation I just mentioned above, would contribute to help the building of a vibrant ASEAN Community.

    At the last ASEAN-China Summit held in Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar) last November, ASEAN and China have designated the Year 2015 as the “ASEAN- China Year of Maritime Cooperation”. For this Maritime Cooperation, China has already set up a comprehensive plan for utilising the ASEAN-China Maritime Cooperation Fund of 3 Billion Yuan. To complement this Maritime Cooperation, China supported 50 million Yuan for disaster management and risk reduction.

    This fund aims to provide financial support many areas, such as maritime connectivity, marine science and technology as well as maritime search and rescue, disaster management, and navigation safety.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Allow me to say on this important occasion a few words on Cambodia-China relations, because I believe the benefit of Cambodia China Comprehensive Cooperation would also help ASEAN Integration, a fundamental factor for the ASEAN Community. China's cooperation with Cambodia was elevated to the level of a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Cooperation” since 2010. To that end, we have instituted an Inter-Governmental Coordinating Committee with a Plan of Action covering a comprehensive field of cooperation.

    In term of investment, China ranked 1st as foreign investor in 2013 and in the first 7 months of 2014, with the amount of 1.3 billion US Dollars. In the area of energy, hydropower, China has invested up to date more than 2.3 billion US Dollars.

    China’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Cambodia for the last 2 years amounted to more than 3.073 Billion US Dollars in the form of concessional loans and grants.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    In conclusion, I am confident that as the Chinese economy continuously rises, it will certainly boost the overall worldwide development. Moreover, I think that with the Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and China and a number of mechanisms of cooperation I have highlighted above, coupled with the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century, it would generate new impetus to greater regional cooperation prosperity and sustain lasting peace in the region.

    Lastly, may I wish the Forum full success.

Thank you.
Important Link
Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Shimoni, King of Cambodia http://www.norodomsihamoni.org/
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/
Ministry of National Defense http://www.mod.gov.kh/
Ministry of Commerce www.moc.gov.kh/
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