World Economic Forum On ASEAN To Kick Off

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Prime Minister Hun Sen will open the high-level World Economic Forum on ASEAN next week at the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Resort.

High profile CEOs, prominent businessmen, ministers and leaders of ASEAN, India and Timor-Leste will gather in Phnom Penh next week for the launch of the three-day World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN, starting on May 10.

“There will be many high profile businessmen and companies from all over the world at the forum, which is committed to improving public-private cooperation,” said Public Works and Transport Minister Sun Chantol said at a press conference yesterday. “We hope that this forum also will attract prominent companies and investors to invest in Cambodia.”

Chantol said heads of state from the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam have also confirmed their attendance. Prime Minister Hun Sen will give the welcoming address at the WEF on ASEAN. Over 600 participants have confirmed their registration, said the forum’s organisers. “Another 18 ministers from ASEAN countries, India and Timor-Leste are also taking part in the forum,” said Chantol.

The theme for the WEF on ASEAN will be ‘Youth, Technology and Growth – Securing ASEAN’s Digital Demographic Dividend’. “This topic was selected by WEF as they found that in ASEAN countries there are more than 50 percent of people below the age of 35. Many of these young people are technologically savvy and that’s why this theme was chosen for the forum,” said Chantol.

“This theme was also chosen because we want the young people of Asean to drive the technological development of the region. They are the future leaders of tomorrow,” he added. “As digital connectivity rises, it promises huge transformations. Economies will develop in new ways. The opportunities for the young will be sharply different to those in the past.”

Sim Sokheng, the director-general for international trade at the Ministry of Commerce, said last week at a business forum organised by BRED Bank that discussions on trade and industrial development will be at the top of Cambodia’s agenda during the WEF on ASEAN. “We want to attract more light industry that generates higher value. However, we can’t forget about garment manufacturing, which remains the country’s biggest employer. We need to add value to this industry,” he said.

Kao Kim Hourn, minister delegate attached to Prime Minister’s Office, said the forum will “enhance the national prestige” of Cambodia. “This forum will bring together some very important investors and is also an opportunity for the country to showcase its achievements,” he added.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.