In his first public appearance at an international forum since taking office as Cambodia's prime minister, Hun Manet, the 45-year-old leader who succeeded his father, Hun Sen, after controversial elections, laid out his ambitious vision.
Speaking at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2023 in the Indonesian capital (4/9), he outlined his plan to make Cambodia a high-income country by 2050.
The country's newly launched National Economic Vision aims to sustain hard-won peace and accelerate national development to achieve high-income country status by 2050. Hun Manet marked his leadership with a determination to face challenges and achieve ambitious goals for his country's future.
Hun Manet outlined a plan to bring his country to high-income status by 2050, which he called the "Pentagon Strategy". This plan involves a series of strategic measures, including human capital development; economic diversification; increased competitiveness; private sector development and job creation; strong, sustainable, and inclusive development; and the development of a digital economy and society.
While peace, political stability, and security remain essential to the development process, Hun Manet also emphasized the important role of the private sector in driving Cambodia's prosperity. He stressed that his government is prioritizing the improvement of the business and investment climate to support sustainable economic growth.
Cambodia has transformed itself into a lower-middle-income country with an impressive economic growth rate of around 7% after decades of conflict.
Acknowledging that intensifying geopolitical competition among major powers is putting pressure on ASEAN's peace, security, and overall prosperity, Hun Manet unveiled this vision ahead of the annual ASEAN summit. This vision marks Cambodia's determination to shape a better and more competitive future.
Cambodia itself has been a major player in promoting and participating in peace and security issues at the regional and global levels since the time of the previous government under Hun Sen. In light of this history, Hun Manet demonstrated his commitment to the multilateral system and the rules-based international order, while showing his willingness to cooperate with ASEAN member states. This confirms that Cambodia continues to play an active role in efforts to maintain global stability and peace.
Recognizing the principle that peace cannot be achieved through armed conflict, Hun Manet called on ASEAN and the international community to unite in rejecting threats of violence against independent states. He underscored the importance of ASEAN and the UN upholding the values of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and stressed the importance of non-interference in a country's internal affairs.