(philstar.com) Updated February 16, 2012 11:31 PM
PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) – As the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, Cambodia is committed to build closer relations and cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Thursday.
“As the ASEAN chair, Cambodia will play a model role to deepen ties between ASEAN and East Asia nations such as China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), South Korea and Japan as well as countries in the region including the United States and Australia,” he said.
Cambodia wanted to see ASEAN to be stronger and more influential in order to work more effectively in regional and global levels, he said at the opening of the 2012 Cambodia Outlook Conference under the theme “Cambodia’s Priorities for Inclusive Growth, Regional Integration and ASEAN Leadership.”
Meanwhile, the premier highlighted the important role of China in the help to develop economics and societies in ASEAN.
“Cambodia, ASEAN member states alike, is situated very close to China, which is the world’s second largest economy and the world’s largest market for agricultural products,” he said. “These are valuable assets and good opportunities for ASEAN to tap China’s market for their social and economic development.”
The premier also reiterated that as the ASEAN chair, the country would try all its best to push ASEAN to realize a community by 2015.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.