Key Issues

Cambodia to Work with U.S. to Strengthen Mekong Connectivity

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the Kingdom will work with the U.S. in terms of Mekong connectivity, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
At the 2nd Mekong-U.S. Partnership Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Aug. 3 via videoconference, H.E. Prak Sokhonn confirmed that Cambodia is ready to continue joint efforts to fight against COVID-19, to address common challenges including but not limited to climate change and transnational crimes, and to effectively promote socio-economic recovery.
H.E. Deputy Prime Minister continued that the Mekong sub-region has a total population of 240 million, 40 percent of whom are under the age of 25, making it an attractive hub for the light manufacturing industry and further integration into the global supply chain. The United States exports about US$ 26 billion in goods and services to the Mekong sub-region and in turn imports about US$ 89.94 billion. “Cambodia hopes to see more private sector investment in tourism, small and medium enterprises and other priority sectors in Cambodia, with the support from the United States and its allies to boost economic growth during and after COVID-19,” he said.
H.E. Prak Sokhonn expressed his support on the initiative for Gender Equality Policy Dialogue, which focuses on: (1) Women’s economic empowerment, focusing on post-COVID-19 recovery and climate crisis; (2) Women’s Peace and security, focusing on women’s leadership; and (3) Preventing and responding to gender-based violence, with the hope that these programmes will provide effective input and recommendations on how to empower women and contribute to social progress.
“Cambodia, through the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, is ready to work with the United States and other members to achieve this common goal,” he underlined.
The 2nd Mekong-U.S. Ministerial Meeting took stock of more than a decade of strong friendship and cooperation between the United States and the Mekong countries, focusing on strengthening connectivity, economic integration, good governance, and narrowing the development gap in the sub-region through four priority areas of cooperation, namely (1) Economic connectivity, (2) Sustainable water resource management, natural resource management, conservation and environmental protection, (3) Non-traditional security, and (4) Human resource development.
The Ministers reiterated the need for continued cooperation in eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing future outbreaks and post-COVID-19 recovery. Meanwhile, the Mekong Foreign Ministers thanked the United States for pledging US$ 52 million in assistance to the Mekong countries.
The meeting ended with the adoption of the MUSP Plan of Action 2021-2023.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press


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