Prime Minister Hun Manet and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol are set to meet this week in Seoul, South Korea. The two sides will be aiming to push bilateral relations to a new level and expand multi-sectoral cooperation.

Manet will lead a high-level Cambodian delegation on a four-day visit to South Korea from May 15 to 18, at the invitation of Yoon.

“During his stay, Manet will hold bilateral talks with Yoon to discuss deepening partnerships and expanding multifaceted cooperation to elevate bilateral relations to new heights,” said a May 13 statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The statement noted that the two leaders will preside over the signing of a number of documents related to economic development and infrastructure.

Manet will also hold separate meetings with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and National Assembly speaker Kim Jin-pyo.

He will be accompanied on the trip by Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chanthol, first vice-chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), Deputy Prime Minister Sok Chenda Sophea, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, other key government officials and representatives of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, according to the press release. 

Manet also plans to attend the Cambodia-South Korea Business Forum and meet with representatives of several major South Korean companies, as well as meet with a number of the Cambodian people residing in South Korea, it said. 

At present, about 50,000 Cambodians are living and working in South Korea.

Manet’s visit comes nearly nine months after he took office in August last year. He selected China for his first visit, about 20 days after being sworn in.

Thong Mengdavid, a lecturer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh’s (RUPP) Institute for International Studies and Public Policy, noted that the bilateral relationship between South Korea and Cambodia is strong, especially in terms of strategic interests, security and socio-economic progress. 

He said that South Korea, as a close friend and partner, has actively supported and helped Cambodia develop over the past 30 years, especially in the areas of infrastructure, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, education, health and social welfare, as well as the development of a skilled labour force.

“In addition to addressing regional issues and promoting peace, stability, and prosperity within the ASEAN framework of cooperation, the visit of Manet will strengthen bilateral ties and expand sectoral cooperation, specifically in investment and trade, social welfare, digitalisation, finance, information and communications technology (ICT),” Mengdavid told The Post on May 13.

“It will also promote vocational training, particularly for seasonal workers in South Korea,” he added.