During his October 4 meeting with British ambassador Dominic Williams, Prime Minister Hun Manet reiterated that Cambodia’s foreign policy – including bilateral relations with the UK – will remain unchanged under his administration. The premier also expressed hope that more Cambodian products will be exported to the UK in the near future.

Manet and Williams also celebrated the 70th anniversary of the two kingdoms’ diplomatic ties, noting that the relationship is growing in all sectors, according to the former’s social media post following their meeting at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh.

On bilateral trade, the premier suggested that the UK examine the possibility of cooperation in two particular areas of the government’s Pentagonal Strategy – green economy and renewable energy sectors.

He assured Williams of Cambodia’s commitment to the green economy and renewable energy sectors, and looks forward to even closer cooperation between the two countries in the near future.

Manet also extended thanks to the government and people of the UK for maintaining close mutual cooperation with Cambodia, noting their support in the fight against Covid-19 and the trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders. The UK has also been assisting mine clearance efforts, significantly contributing to the vision of a Mine-Free Cambodia 2025.

Williams confirmed his government’s continued support in a tweet following the meeting. “Pleasure to meet Prime Minister Hun Manet. We are increasing UK engagement in a range of areas, with big developments like the recent launch of the first British university campus in Cambodia. We hope also to create a new partnership on green & sustainable infrastructure.”

According to the UK embassy in Phnom Penh, Manet and Williams expressed their desire to boost trade, strengthen defence ties and promote people-to-people links through education, as well as supporting green growth.

“[Williams] also raised the importance of democracy and human rights for Cambodia’s international reputation,” it tweeted.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, observed that Cambodia’s overall foreign policy framework has remained unchanged, in terms of bilateral relations and multilateral mechanisms.

“Cambodia is still an independent, neutral and non-aligned country. It adheres to a core policy of multilateralism. The aim of our foreign policy is to guarantee our core national interests. Cambodia enjoys peace, political stability, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and development,” he said.

He added that under the current mandate, he expects the government to employ smart, flexible and practical diplomatic methods – a diplomacy centred more on the economy.

“Aside from politics, their meetings also centre on the economy, investment, trade exchanges, promoting the flow of tourists and the delivery of aid,” he said.