‘Asem13 aiming for global economic recovery’

The 13th Summit of Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem13) has reinforced multilateralism, which is the key international principle to boost sustainable and inclusive global economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, a Cambodian scholar said.

The two-day Asem13, chaired by Cambodia via video link, concluded on Friday, vowing to strengthen multilateralism, promote post-Covid-19 socio-economic recovery, and improve Asem connectivity.

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said regional and global growth, sustainable development and prosperity cannot be achieved by unilateralism and protectionism, so multilateralism is very important.

“The Asem13 has revitalised multilateralism, which is the important international principle to ensure global peace and stability and to achieve a sustainable, inclusive and resilient post-pandemic socio-economic recovery for all,” he said.

He said multilateralism is not just a diplomatic technique. It shapes a world order, a very specific way of organising international relations based on cooperation, the rule of law, collective action and common principles.

“Rather than pitting civilisations and values against each other, all countries must build a more inclusive multilateralism,” he said. “Only when we unite can we truly defeat the pandemic and achieve global economic recovery.”

Besides the impact of trade protectionism, unilateralism and anti-globalisation trends, the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic has reached every part of the world, he said, adding that dealing with the havoc in region and the world caused by Covid-19 is not the responsibility of any single country.

“Collective efforts, actions and measures are vital to effectively fighting against this pandemic and achieving global economic recovery as well as enhancing partnership for sustainable and inclusive development based on principle of multilateralism,” he said.

Meanwhile, Phea said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement, which is due to enter into force on Jan 1, 2022, is a good example of multilateralism.

RCEP is a mega trade deal between the 10 Asean member states (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and its free trade agreement partners of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. — Xinhua

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