Cambodian PM urges ASEAN to take advantages of COVID-19-related opportunities hinh anh 1Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the COVID-19 pandemic has created good opportunities for ASEAN countries to boost regional trade at the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), which took place on June 26 within the framework of the 36th ASEAN Summit.

The pandemic has once again reminded the bloc that ASEAN still has shortcomings and heavily relied on external factors, he said.

With the emerging trends brought by COVID-19, the shift of global trade and supply chains, ASEAN must be well-prepared to earn maximum benefits from this, he stated.

Hun Sen reiterated that the engagement of private sector is indispensable for the development of the ASEAN Community, particularly amid the COVID-19.

He noted the private sector must not solely rely on the government and must navigate and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic themselves as well.

Chairing the meeting, PM Phuc affirmed that ASEAN governments are committed to supporting the business community in overcoming challenges brought about by COVID-19 so that they will soon recover, resume services and boost production.

He talked about obstacles facing the ASEAN business community due to the pandemic, including interrupted supply-demand chains, halted services, and weaker financial market.

Phuc stated that ASEAN governments considered the community the centre of growth and prosperity and the force that helps realise development goals in building the ASEAN Community.

He said their economic role has become clearer amid the pandemic when the group is affected, people’s lives and livelihoods also face difficulties.

The 36th ASEAN Summit was hosted by Vietnam on June 26 in the form of a video conference, with discussions focusing on the bloc’s COVID-19 control and prevention and its future steps to build the ASEAN Community and expand external relations./.