Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday met with Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi at the Peace Palace to discuss student exchange programmes, culture and bilateral trade.
Eang Sophalleth, Mr Hun Sen’s assistant, said that Mr Hun Sen stressed the importance of cooperation.
“Samdech stressed that we should hold a joint ceremony to promote the tourism sector prior to the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Myanmar in 2020,” he said. “It should be done in Siem Reap province and Myanmar’s Bagan province where temples are located.”
Mr Sophalleth said Mr Hun Sen thanked Myanmar for allowing Cambodia to build a pagoda in Myanmar’s Bagan province and train Cambodian monks to study Buddhism.
He added that Mr Hun Sen also pushed for the implementation student exchange programmes because Cambodia is offering scholarships to students from Myanmar to study in the Kingdom.
During the meeting between the two leaders, Mr Hun Sen asked Ms Suu Kyi for Myanmar to review the reduction of tariffs and protective agreements to harness the potential of the two countries.
“Especially in boosting the economy through bilateral trade,” Mr Sophalleth said.
According a Commerce Ministry report, bilateral trade between two countries reached $4.7 million in 2015, up to $5.24 million in 2016 and $2.07 million in 2017. Trade with Myanmar was estimated to be worth $4.53 million in the first six months of last year.
Ms Suu Kyi yesterday also met with King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk at the Royal Palace, as well as Senate President Say Chhum and National Assembly President Heng Samrin.
Keo Piseth, cabinet chief of Mr Samrin, said Ms Suu Kyi told Mr Samrin that Myanmar has reformed its system to become more democratic.
Mr Piseth said Ms Suu Kyi raised the importance of parliament in drafting laws and protecting the interests of the people.
“Her Excellency was supported by Samdech Heng Samrin because he wants to see both countries have good relations and more in depth cooperation,” he said. “Her excellency stressed that she will be pushing for parliamentary cooperation to be stronger, especially in exchanging experience. This includes during a forum such as the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Parternship meeting.”
Mr Piseth said Mr Samrin congratulated Myanmar’s reconciliation and reform policies under her leadership.
He also thanked Myanmar for providing scholarships to Cambodian students to study there.
Mr Piseth said Mr Samrin asked Ms Suu Kyi to support Cambodian investors in Myanmar, noting that there are about 30 Cambodian companies there.
“Samdech Heng Samrin wanted both countries to continue strengthening cooperation in the sectors of agriculture, commerce, tourism, education and culture to boost economic development,” he said.
Mr Piseth said Mr Samrin told Ms Suu Kyi that Cambodia will host the 13th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership meeting, along with the Asia-Europe Meeting in 2020.