Hun Sen Talks Up Asean’s Chances at Davos Forum

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday told a discussion forum at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he has high hopes for the planned economic integration of Asean countries this year.

Appearing alongside Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula and Abdul Wahid Omar, Malaysia’s minister in charge of economic planning, Mr. Hun Sen said that the integration is coming at a time of regional economic strength.

“Asean will attract a lot of benefits from the regular and rising trend of the Chinese economy, and the gradual opening of Indian economy, and new trends of the Japanese and Korean economies, which will create tremendous trade and investment chances in addition to [Asean’s] traditional market in the U.S. and European Union,” he said.

Yet Mr. Hun Sen also noted that some cultural differences in Southeast Asia may prove enduring. “I want to make clear a thing which cannot be set as the same identity: that Asean has roads with left and right steering wheels.

This is the most difficult point,” he said. “It is difficult to deal with this legal system, as the former French colonies use left steering wheels, while former British colonies used right steering wheels.”

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