Phnom Penh; 22 April, 2022: Indian Parliamentary Delegation led by Lok Sabha Speaker, Shri Om Birla, which concluded its three-day visit to Vietnam yesterday, arrived in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) today. The Delegation includes Shri Ravneet Singh, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha); Ms. Saroj Pandey, MP (Rajya Sabha); Smt. Locket Chatterjee, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha); Smt. Sarmistha Sethi, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha); Dr. Santanu Sen, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and Shri Utpal Kumar Singh, General Secretary, Lok Sabha.
On the first day of his visit to Cambodia, Shri Birla called on His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Birla said that trade and economic cooperation between India and Cambodia is based on India's 'Act East' policy, India-ASEAN cooperation framework, India-CLMWB cooperation and Mekong–Ganga Cooperation. The Speaker highlighted that the aim of this visit to Cambodia is to further enhance parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.
Mentioning that 2022 is special for both the countries as India and Cambodia are celebrating seventy years of diplomatic relations which were established in 1952, Shri Birla observed that during this time India has always extended its support and cooperation in the challenging circumstances of Cambodia. Shri Birla underlined that India was the first democratic country to recognize Cambodia after Khmer Rouge which reflects the close bonding between the two countries. He expressed satisfaction that, at present, Cambodia is an important partner in India’s 'Act East' policy and economic partnership with ASEAN.
Underlining that trade relations between India and Cambodia are yet to reach to their potential, Shri Birla stressed the need for increasing bilateral trade between the two countries. New areas of cooperation need to be explored and tapped, said Shri Birla. He suggested that there should be a continuous dialogue between the trade associations of the two countries. In this regard, Shri Birla expressed the view that both the countries should make continuous efforts to promote trade, investment, tourism, development projects etc., which will help in further strengthening and taking the bilateral economic ties to a higher level.
Shri Birla thanked Cambodia for their support to India in various UN bodies and other international organizations including support within ASEAN and India’s candidature for permanent membership of the UN Security Council. He expressed hoped that this cooperation will continue in multilateral fora. Mentioning that ASEAN is one of the most influential economic groupings in the world, Shri congratulated Cambodia for the presidency of ASEAN and assured that India will extend full support and assistance to Cambodia in 2022 to make their ASEAN Presidency tenure successful.
During bilateral talks with H.E. Mr. Heng Samrin, President of National Assembly of Cambodia, Shri Birla said that parliamentary cooperation between the two countries gives a new dimension to the bilateral relations. Shri Birla expressed hope that regular bilateral talks will not only help both countries and Parliaments but it will also promote people-to-people contact and cooperation between the two countries. The Speaker called for formation of India-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Group to further strengthen parliamentary diplomacy. He expressed confidence that this would help to share each other's experiences and best practices, which in turn would further strengthen the bilateral ties and open up new opportunities for cooperation.
During his meeting with H.E. Mr. Say Chhum, President of Senate of Kingdom of Cambodia, Shri Birla expressed satisfaction that India-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Group has been formed in the National Assembly and the Senate. He informed that the Parliament of India is also forming friendship groups with a view to share experiences and best practices which will help both the Parliaments. This will also further strengthen bilateral ties and open up new areas of cooperation, said Shri Birla. Shri Birla informed Mr. Chhum that more than 2,000 Cambodian officers have been trained in various fields, including India's premier defense institutions, under the ITEC programmes to enhance the capacity building initiative in Cambodia. He invited Cambodian senators and Senate officials to take part in the Orientation and Training Programmes conducted by Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE).
Earlier, Lok Sabha Speaker paid tributes to the revered Late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and reflected on his accomplishments in liberating Cambodia. He also laid a wreath at Independence Monument (Vimean Ekareach) and paid homage to the freedom fighters and war heroes of Cambodia.