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Indonesia, Cambodia forge health security cooperation

Meeting between Indonesian Ambassador Santo Darmosumarto (L) and Cambodia Minister of Health Chheang Ra to discuss increased cooperation in health security. Indonesian Embassy to Cambodia.

In a bid to bolster their health sectors and deepen bilateral relations, Indonesia and Cambodia have pledged to collaborate closely on various health security initiatives.

This commitment was underscored during a meeting between the Indonesian Ambassador to Cambodia, Santo Darmosumarto, and the Cambodian Minister of Health Chheang Ra, held in Phnom Penh on Thursday.

Highlighting the potential for mutual cooperation, Ambassador Santo emphasised that as two developing nations, Indonesia and Cambodia possess significant opportunities to advance their healthcare systems collectively.

“There is tremendous potential for Indonesia to work hand in hand with Cambodia to boost both countries’ health sectors,” said Ambassador Santo.

The discussions centred on identifying key areas of collaboration, with a focus on developing a comprehensive framework for bilateral health cooperation. Three primary areas identified are the establishment of a bilateral agreement on health cooperation, the enhancement of human resource capacities through scholarships and internships, and the expansion of trade in health products, including medicines, herbal supplements, and medical equipment.

Ambassador Santo also highlighted Indonesia’s significant strides in pharmaceutical exports, noting that pharmaceutical products doubled in the past year, making them one of Indonesia’s top five exports to Cambodia. He expressed his desire for continued support from the Cambodian Ministry of Health to facilitate access to Indonesian medicines and supplements for the growing Cambodian consumer base.

Furthermore, the Ambassador stressed the importance of providing health education to the Indonesian community residing in Cambodia, a sentiment that was positively received by Minister Chheang Ra.

“As more Indonesians make a living in Cambodia, we are noticing that many of us are simply unaware of the many health issues out there and how to overcome them,” said Ambassador Santo.

Minister Ra outlined the priorities of the Cambodian government’s 7th Mandate in the health sector, which encompassed a wide range of initiatives such as preventing infectious diseases, combatting non-communicable diseases, strengthening social safety nets, improving human resources, and advancing digital health solutions. Both parties concurred that these priorities present ample opportunities for collaborative efforts between Indonesia and Cambodia.

As the two countries celebrate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, the Embassy of Indonesia in Phnom Penh is eager to deepen economic ties through concrete cooperation activities. In September, Indonesia will organise a large-scale solo exhibition in Phnom Penh, showcasing opportunities for collaboration in trade, investment, tourism, education, and healthcare.


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