Cambodia, Switzerland boost bilateral cooperation

PHNOM PENH: The Kingdom of Cambodia and the Swiss Confederation have agreed to boost their bilateral cooperation in all sectors.

The agreement was made during the Third Round of the Bilateral Political Consultations between the two Foreign Ministries co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Chem Widhya, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and H.E. Ambassador Heinrich Schellenberg, Assistant State Secretary for the Asia Pacific of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Phnom Penh on Feb. 4.

On the occasion, both sides noted with high satisfaction of the traditional excellent bonds of friendship and close cooperation, which happily exist between the two countries. They gave an overview of the political and economic situations in their respective countries and went on to discuss bilateral relations covering political, development, and economic dimensions.

According to the ministry's press release, the discussion focused on wide-ranging areas of cooperation, including health, governance, decentralization, agriculture, food security, , investment, tourism, vocational training, demining, development assistance, and cooperation in international organizations, including at the United Nations and ASEAN-Switzerland Cooperation.

The two sides shared a strong commitment to building on those areas. They further exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest and concern.

H.E. Dr. Chem Widhya expressed the deep gratitude of the Cambodian people to Switzerland for the development of assistance to Cambodia over the years, while hailing the magnificent work made by Kantha Bopha Hospital for Cambodian children and women.

H.E. Ambassador Heinrich Schellenberg was impressed with the rapid economic progress that Cambodia had made, commended the very successful efforts of Cambodia in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, and reiterated Swiss continued support for Kantha Bopha Hospital as well as for the New Cooperation Programme in the Mekong Region 2022-2025.

He also congratulated Cambodia for the great achievement of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2022, as reflected in the active and successful role and efforts as Chair to reduce regional tensions.

On the trade and investment front, H.E. Dr. Chem Widhya noted with deep satisfaction of the trade volume between the two countries, which has continued to grow dynamically despite the outbreak of COVID-19 over the past three years. To further boost the trade volume, he proposed the establishment of a business forum between the two countries' chambers of commerce and follow the discussions to explore the possibility of establishing a free trade agreement between the two countries to diversify markets.

The Third Round of the Bilateral Political Consultations between the two Foreign Ministries was held successfully in a cordial and fruitful atmosphere which is impregnated by the excellent friendship that characterizes the relations between Cambodia and Switzerland.

In addition, the two countries organize

d cultural performances event to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Kingdom of Cambodia and Switzerland at the Chaktomuk Conference Hall.

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