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65 years Indonesia-Cambodia relations: Where do we go from here?

“To draw ideas from an academic discussion involving prominent scholars and propose strategies to further enhance bilateral relations for 65 years to come”, Ambassador Santo Darmosumarto during the opening of the Roundtable Dialogue on 65 Years Indonesia-Cambodia Relations yesterday at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.

The Dialogue was attended by 20 distinguished participants made up of officials, researchers, and scholars from both countries. Among them were Senior Minister Sok Siphana, Ambassador Phou Suthirak of the Cambodian Center for Regional Studies, Vora Huy Kanthoul of the Cambodian Institute for Peace and Cooperation, and Mey Kalyan of the Cambodian Development and Resource Institute. Tirta Nugraha Mursitama and Ardhitya Yeremia from University of Bina Nusantara and University of Indonesia, respectively, came from Jakarta to join the occasion.

Among the issues discussed in the Dialogue included the deep historical ties connecting Indonesia and Cambodia, the various areas for cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, and infrastructure, as well as the potential for partnerships in addressing regional and global issues. The participants highlighted the importance of further strengthening ASEAN community building through programs and activities that directly benefit the peoples.

Ambassador Darmosumarto stated that Indonesia does not want to be regarded only for its roles in Cambodia in the past, but also as a close partner in assisting one another advance our developing economies. The Dialogue suggested that efforts must be carried out to implement the Governments’ commitments over the years and empower the young generation in shaping the future of our bilateral relations.

The Dialogue kickstarted a series of events that would take place in 2024 to commemorate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Indonesia and Cambodia. On 13 February 1959, King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Indonesian Prime Minister Djuanda Kartawidjaja signed the Treaty of Friendship that marked the beginning of these ties.

Last year, Indonesia jumped up to become Cambodia’s No.6 trading partner, with total bilateral trade amounting to around $1.1 billion. Indonesia’s successful Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023 built on the various achievements made by Cambodia during its own Chairmanship of ASEAN the previous year.Fresh News


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