The Australian government is committed to continue aiding the Kingdom’s development, having already provided about $1 billion in funds from 1992 until last year.
Outgoing Ambassador Angela Corcoran yesterday said during a farewell courtesy call on Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn that her government is also committed to strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
Ms Corcoran is ending her diplomatic mission after spending nearly four years in the Kingdom.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said the Australian government provided about $1 billion from 1992 to 2018 for infrastructure, commerce, agriculture, water resources, fisheries, education, health, mine clearance and funding for the UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
“Australia will continue to provide roughly 70 million to 80 million Australian dollars yearly to help Cambodia,” he quoted the ambassador as saying during the meeting.
Mr Kuong noted that Ms Corcoran also said she was very glad to have witnessed good cooperation between the two governments.
Mr Kuong said both parties discussed expanding bilateral trade and strengthening ties and cooperation.
“Even though there is increased bilateral trade, it still remains small since we restarted diplomatic relations in 1993,” he said.
Mr Kuong noted that in 1993, bilateral trade was about $20 to $30 million and this increased to about $100 million in 2010. He said that last year bilateral trade reached $160 million.
“Both parties will strengthen efforts to increase bilateral trade and tourist arrivals,” Mr Kuong said, noting an average of 130,000 Australians visit the Kingdom annually.
He said that during the meeting, Mr Sokhonn thanked the Australian government for providing aid for socio-ecomomic development in Cambodia.
“Diplomatic relations and cooperation between Cambodia and Australia have strengthened, especially during your mission in the Kingdom,” Mr Sokhonn told Ms Corcoran.
Mr Kuong said the minister highly valued the ambassador’s mission, during which she put in great effort to strengthen relations and cooperation between the two countries.
He noted that during the meeting with Mr Sokhonn, Ms Corcoran also raised regional security issues, especially in the Indo-Pacific area, and said that she wanted to see peace and stability in the region and world.
Mr Kuong said the minister echoed the ambassador’s sentiments on regional security.
“Cambodia’s stance is that we want to see bilateral and multilateral negotiations conducted smoothly to maintain regional peace,” Mr Kuong noted.