Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday arrived in Macau, the first stop on a five-day trip during which he is scheduled to attend a series of conferences on cultural tourism, regional defense and trade, and poverty reduction.
Speaking on the opening day of the 2015 Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macau, Mr. Hun Sen said he hoped the event would help lead to the development of culture-based tourism to facilitate regional integration.
“I strongly believe this forum will provide an opportunity to exchange concepts, opinions and experiences…to continue to promote the development of the cultural tourism sector in this region and in the world,” he said.
“Cambodia gives priority to the development of the tourism and cultural sectors, due to those sectors not only supporting economic growth by creating jobs and reducing poverty, but as something to be considered as playing a key role in supporting regional integration.”
Mr. Hun Sen will next head to Beijing for meetings about China’s modern “silk road” in Asia, poverty reduction, and the sixth Xiangshan regional defense forum, according to a Foreign Affairs Ministry statement.
In a Pchum Ben message posted to his Facebook page Monday morning, Mr. Hun Sen apologized for leaving Cambodia during the holiday in order to attend the forums.
“I regret I cannot stay and participate with the monks and the people to participate in the important Pchum Ben ceremony,” he said. “Although, I cannot directly participate, my brothers and sisters and family are commemorating.”
Mr. Hun Sen also asked for people to drive safely and called on taxi drivers not to overcharge the thousands of workers returning to the city after spending the holiday in their hometowns.
“I would like to appeal to the people who drive to respect the traffic law in order to avoid accidents, and I continue to appeal to the taxi vehicles not to increase their prices too much…when the people flock back into the city, including the workers and students,” he said.