Speech by SCED at signing ceremony for Memorandum of Agreement between Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and HKCAMHR (English only)
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Agreement between the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and Cambodian Human Resource Development Association of Hong Kong (HKCAMHR) today (April 24):
Minister Samheng (Minister of Labour and Vocational Training of Cambodia, Dr Ith Samheng), ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to join you all today.
Several years ago, I brought a delegation to Cambodia. I was immediately impressed by Cambodia's rapid development, emerging economy and business opportunities. With your amazing growth, I believe there are mutual benefits for Cambodia and Hong Kong to enhance our economic ties on various fronts. Our respective business sectors certainly realise the potential. Economic ties between Cambodia and Hong Kong have been growing strongly. The average annual growth rate in bilateral trade between Hong Kong and Cambodia was 7.5 per cent from 2012 to 2016. Also, our bilateral trade with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), of which Cambodia is a member state, grew by a cumulative 72 per cent over the past 10 years. The ASEAN-Hong Kong trade value has exceeded US$100 billion since 2014, and is bigger than Hong Kong-US (United States) trade or Hong Kong-EU (European Union) trade.
I believe our ties will become even stronger thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative. Cambodia is one of the major economies along China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Together with the Silk Road Economic Belt - known as the Belt and Road - they cover the major economic corridors of Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Central Asia, Eurasia and Europe. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, we foresee closer co-operation between Cambodia and Mainland China. Hong Kong, as the "super-connector" between the Mainland China and other countries, can certainly facilitate further exchanges between the two places.
One of our policy initiatives to complement the Belt and Road is to relax the visa requirements for employment, study and visit for nationals of the Belt and Road countries to foster co-operation and exchange. We relaxed the visa requirements for nationals of Cambodia starting from March 1, 2017.
Relaxation of visa requirements opens a new page of co-operation between Cambodia and Hong Kong. Apart from exchanges in trade and culture, we see plenty of employment opportunities for Cambodian nationals working in Hong Kong.
On this note, may I wish a fruitful collaboration between Cambodia and Hong Kong in the years to come. Thank you.
Ends/Monday, April 24, 2017