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China/ASEAN Economic Development Trends


  H.R.H Norodom Sirivudh: Development Trend of Economic Cooperation between China and ASEAN Countries

  CSSN reporter: Liu Yue Camera: Pang Junxi Video Production: Zhao Yue

Guest: HRH Prince Norodom Sirivudh, Founder and Chairman of Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, Former Deputy Premier and Minister for Foreign Affairs

Interviewer: Thank you for coming here today. In your speech, you spoke generally of economic cooperation. So I’d like to know your feelings specifically about Asian cooperation and trade cooperation.

H.R.H Norodom Sirivudh: First, I’d like to thank the organizers CASS for inviting me here to Beijing. Economic cooperation is mainly regional. And I think that China, for example, with the ASEAN 10 countries plus three [China, Japan and Korea], plays a very important role as an economic actor stabilizer during the two economic crises. So for example I think we must encourage more free trade agreement between China and ASEAN, even with China and other countries in the region. So I strongly believe that so far based on the figures of trade and economic cooperation, we are going in the right direction. Secondly, I think we must promote some new ideas on new economic corridors in terms of transporting goods moving from each country in Asia to the others and especially from ASEAN countries to China, Japan, and Korea.

Interviewer: The global economic crisis continues, do you think that will affect this economic cooperation in negative ways, or will it actually provide some opportunities?

H.R.H Norodom Sirivudh: You’re right. But once again the crisis did not come from Asia itself. In ‘97, that was an Asian crisis. And we can identify factors that led to that in Asia, and some weak points from the banking and Financial Systems in Asia. But the 2008 crisis has, from the United States of America with a fully developed economy -- so that has given us a lesson that even a country like the U.S. needs to revise its financial system, because it affects South Korea, Japan and of course other ASEAN nations. China, however, was not very much affected. Some of china’s exports of course were affected but the system itself was able to avoid the crisis. That’s because some financial mechanism control was in place to avoid this kind of crisis. So, for Cambodia which was affected by the crisis, for example, tourism industry, but so far we have strong economic policies on what we call the “double system”, local currencies and dollarization, save Cambodia from serious effects of the crisis.

Interviewer: Staying with the crisis for a moment, it’s clear that the U.S. has large exports to China and other Asian countries. Do you think this will affect trade cooperation?

H.R.H Norodom Sirivudh: There is surely some effect in Korea and Japan, as far as financials go, but China is a big country which can readjust its domestic consumption. That’s of course because the domestic market is very big. But some countries like Cambodia and others cannot readjust domestic consumption by changing export policies. So some countries of course are more affected than others. But I would also like to say there needs to be more transparency and trust and partnership. I think the G20 example is good, but not all the ASEAN countries are involved in that, so we need more consultation like APEC. Some countries in ASEAN like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, are not in APEC, so there needs to be more consultation, and we would like, for example, to see the U.S. China relationship very stable, which would allow the region to take advantage of that stability and cooperation.

Interviewer: What do you think the biggest challenges are in this Asian cooperation, with the respect to the idea that many Asian countries have or are considering creating free trade agreements?

H.R.H Norodom Sirivudh: Free trade agreements are of basic importance. But I think we must talk about deficit in terms of equitabilities. If one country does not export very much, but imports too much from a partner, I think in the long term there will be some kind of destabilization even if there is a free trade agreement. From my personal point of view, we must readjust the gap between the volumes of trade. And it’s very natural if one country cannot export and very much due to their limited capacity production, but in a long-term that they will face some problem with regard to stabilization. So it is difficult to do it, but I think the member states of ASEAN must make an effort like Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar – and Vietnam is on the right track to join the developed countries in terms of economic trading partners—but the three of us are a bit late and behind in this respect. So our government must make some efforts to fill the gap in terms of trade.

Interviewer: Thank you!




Editor: Du Mei     Source:Chinese Social Sciences Net     2013-12-21 03:07:00

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