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Aung San Suu Kyi in Cambodia: Pledges Made to Promote Trade, Education, Cultural Ties


Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, left, reviews an honor guard with Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (AP Photo Heng Sinith)

Aung San Suu Kyi paid a two-day official visit to Cambodia this week, marking her first trip to the Southeast Asian nation.

Aung San Suu Kyi, state counselor of Myanmar, and Prime Minister Hun Sen have agreed to promote and expand commercial, educational, cultural, and tourism ties between the two countries, according to Hun Sen’s official Facebook page.

Aung San Suu Kyi paid a two-day official visit to Cambodia this week, marking her first trip to the Southeast Asian nation.

According to a summary of the meetings published on Hun Sen’s Facebook page on Tuesday, Suu Kyi said: “regarding cultural issues, in 2020, it will be the 65th anniversary of the formation of relations of the two countries, so we shall jointly organize an auspicious activity, promoting tourism between the countries; particularly, in Siem Reap and Bagan provinces, which are rich in temple heritages.”

Regarding education, Hun Sen requested an exchange program for students of Cambodia and Myanmar under the support of the two governments.

Hun Sen also pledged to offer 10 scholarships to Myanmar, paving the way for the students of Myanmar to come to study in Cambodia.

Additionally, Hun Sen requested a review of double taxation. The two sides also discussed the expansion of trade.

Both Aung San Suu Kyi and Hun Sen “agreed to promote these important sectors and agreed to offer confidence to relevant ministers of the two countries to continue working on these issues.”

Chheang Vannarith, a regional affairs analyst, said both countries had similar economic reliance on China.

“For the trade ties, it will be hard to push further because the exports of the two countries are perhaps similar. But I think the important thing is the connectivity in the Mekong region as well as the strengthening of the ASEAN community. Frankly speaking, Cambodia, Burma, and Laos are the poorest countries in ASEAN. So, the three countries should enhance cooperation in order to use ASEAN mechanism to reduce development gap,” he added.

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