Speech on the "Enhancement of ASEAN+3 Cooperation and NEAT Operation" by Mr. Chann Rotana
Enhancement of ASEAN+3 Cooperation and NEAT Operation
By Mr. Chann Rotana
Deputy Director General of Department of ASEAN,
Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
I- Enhancement of ASEAN+3 Cooperation
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1- I am pleased to join our colleagues to express my sincere appreciations and thanks to the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and Vietnamese Government for the warm hospitality extended to my delegation and the excellent arrangements for the Meeting in the beautiful beach city.
2- Cambodia noted with satisfaction the progress made in ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, in particular the implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Work Plan (2007-2017). With the view to further intensifying our cooperation, a Mid-Term Review on the implementation of this Work Plan could be conducted in 2012.
3- I would also like to reiterate the important roles of the ASEAN-Japan Centre, ASEAN-Korea Centre and the ASEAN-China Centre in promoting trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges among the ASEAN countries and China, Japan and ROK. In order to ensure the full and effective use of the centers, there is a need to promote networking among the three centers so as to have a better consideration in cooperation with ASEAN.
4- It is also noted the important contributions made by the Network of East Asia Think-Tanks (NEAT) and the East Asia Forum (EAF) to promote and strengthen cooperation among the ASEAN Plus Three Countries.
5- Taking this opportunity, we wish to congratulate the Republic of Korea for coming up with the initiative of having the Second East Asia Vision Group (EAVG II), which was endorsed by ASEAN+3 Leaders at their summit in Hanoi, last year. This bold initiative will help charter the future of ASEAN+ 3 and East Asia Cooperation, including the concept of the East Asia Community.
6- As the incoming Chair of ASEAN for 2012, Cambodia will do its best to actively contribute to the work of the EAVG II, of course with the support and close cooperation of all the ASEAN+3 Countries.
7- Cambodia highly value the active support of the Plus Three Countries to the ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture as well as in the ASEAN Plus Three process which serves as the main vehicle to achieve the long-term goal of building an East Asian community and contribute to sustainable development in the region. To achieve this goal, Cambodia welcomes the establishment of the East Asia Vision Group II (EAVG II) which would draw up a vision for mid-to-long term cooperation in East Asia and recommend the future direction of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation.
8- Concerning the establishment of future free trade areas in East Asia , I would like to inform that Cambodia supports China’s proposal to set up three Working Groups to conduct studies on the liberalization of Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment with the view to accelerate the process of establishment of the East Asia Free Trade Area(EAFTA) and the Working Groups should make thorough studies on the liberalization issues, in particular the implications of the EAFTA for the Least Developed Countries.
9- There is an important need to enhance transport connectivity within ASEAN as well as between ASEAN and the Plus Three Countries. In this context, the Plus Three Countries should actively support the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity including the building of the Singapore-Kunming Rail Links (SKRL), which was adopted by the Informal ASEAN Summit in Singapore since the year 2000, and that has already been identified as one of the 15 priority projects in the Master Plan.
10- I noted that the development gap is still a big challenge among ASEAN and the Plus Three Countries. In this regard, we highly appreciate the Plus Three Countries’ efforts in helping the CLMV countries through various regional and sub-regional frameworks of cooperation as well as bilateral assistance in order to narrow the development divide in the region.
11- It is very crucial to establish the ASEAN+3 Emergency Rice Reserve as a permanent mechanism as soon as possible in order to effectively address the food security challenges. Cambodia is now working hard to ensure that the draft ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve Agreement (APTERR) could be finalized at the Special Senior Officials Meeting for the ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-AMAF+3) to be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on 7-12 August 2011. The draft Agreement is expected to be signed at the forthcoming ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF+3) in October 2011 in Indonesia.
II- NEAT Operation
Ladies and Gentlemen,
12- Regarding NEAT Operation, we highly appreciated and welcome the initial ideas to have the website for the NEAT network and grateful to all our colleagues to share the informative and useful idea in creating the website. It would be very importance for us to share updated information one another through this website when it will be operated soon.
13- On the way to be here, I have just received the e-mail from our Philippines colleague –Prof. Yap- informing us about the website’s operation. In this regard, Cambodia highly appreciates the Philippines for offering the costs of website’s maintenance. I hope that when the website is fully in place we all as the members of NEAT will become closer and closer and the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation will be further enhanced and more productive.
Thank you for your attention!