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Hun Sen departs for Future of Asia conference in Japan

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen departs for Tokyo yesterday. KT/Khem Sovannara

Prime Minister Hun Sen left the Kingdom yesterday for a four-day visit to Tokyo to attend Nikkei’s 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia and meet with his Japanese counterpart.

The Future of Asia is an international gathering where political, economic and academic leaders from the region offer their opinions frankly and freely on regional issues and the role of Asia in the world. Nikkei has hosted the event every year since 1995.

This year, Mr Hun Sen will join Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Mr Hun Sen is expected to deliver a keynote address under the conference’s theme of “In Search of the New Global Order – Overcoming the Chaos”.

Before boarding his flight, Mr Hun Sen wrote a post on Facebook.

“During my stay in Tokyo, I plan to meet with his Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss various bilateral, regional and international [topics],” he said. “I will also witness the signing of two important Japanese grant aid exchange notes for development projects in the Kingdom.”

“Additionally, I will discuss with representatives of Japanese companies,” Mr Hun Sen added. “I wish our people who are inside and outside of the country will get happiness and good luck.”

According to a Foreign Ministry statement earlier this week, two development agreements worth $4.93 million will be signed by the leaders.

The statement noted that $1.829 million will go to the construction of a container freight station, as part of the Economic and Social Development Programme, while $3.101 million will be used for the implementation of the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship programme.

It also noted that Mr Hun Sen is expected to address a seminar on investments in Cambodia organised by the Council for the Development of Cambodia in collaboration with Japan External Trade Organisation and Mizuho Bank.

According a recent report by Jetro, Cambodia’s exports to Japan increased by about 16 percent in the first quarter of the year when compared to the same period last year.

Trade between the two nations reached $558 million during the first quarter of this year. Cambodia shipped $454 million worth of goods to the Japanese market, while Japanese exports to Cambodia rose by 20 percent to $104 million.

Last year, trade with Japan increased by 27.3 percent as $1.6 billion worth of goods were sent to Japan and Cambodia bought about $421 million in Japanese goods.

CPP Sok Eysan said the trip solidifies that the international community believes the current government is legitimate.

“It reflects that we are a legitimate government, not an illegal government as accused by rebel groups,” he said. “They invited us to attend an international forum; they want to work with us, not the opposition group.”

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