Cambodia promotes shared growth at virtual Asia-Europe meet

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (AP) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen opened a virtual meeting of Asian and European leaders yesterday with a call for sustainable and shared global growth as the world seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thirty European countries and 21 Asian countries, along with multinational organisations representing the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEM), are represented at the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting. The biennial event is being hosted by Cambodia after being postponed from last year due to the pandemic.

ASEM’s membership accounts for 65 per cent of the global economy, 60 per cent of the world’s population, 75 per cent of global tourism and 55 per cent of global trade, according to the organisers.

“As we all strive for socio-economic recovery while living with COVID-19, the theme that we have chosen for the ASEM-13, namely ‘Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth’, is even more valid and relevant than ever,” Hun Sen said in opening remarks to the meeting.

“In fact, in the post-COVID-19 crisis world, we need to further reinforce our Asia-Europe partnership to maintain a strong multilateralism that will bring about a global growth that is not only ‘Sustainable’ but can also be ‘Shared’.”

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during an online opening session of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. PHOTO: AP