Sweden’s new Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. Björn Häggmark met with H.E. Samdech Aka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly in Phnom Penh, on 19th December 2019. The Ambassador conveyed the message, that he is looking forward to enhance the relations between Sweden and Cambodia based on a longstanding and constructive partnership.
“I am honoured and delighted to represent Sweden in Cambodia,” Ambassador Björn Häggmark said as reported by Khmer Times.
“Sweden is an open and creative society in a world that changes rapidly. The voices of civil society, and efforts to achieve gender equality, have contributed to Sweden’s progress. I believe this is of interest to Cambodia with its young population. I will work hard to deepen and broaden the relations to the benefit of Cambodians and sustainable development.”
Sweden and Cambodia established diplomatic relations in 1961. Sweden provided its first development cooperation support to Cambodia in 1979. At present, the Swedish bilateral development cooperation with Cambodia focus on three areas: human rights, democracy and the rule of law; education and employment; and climate change and sustainable use of natural resources. Sweden has provided over 120 million USD for development cooperation to the Kingdom of Cambodia between 2014-2019. A human rights based approach will be at the center for future development cooperation.
“Respect for human rights is at the heart of Swedish policies, also in our development cooperation. The voices of everybody should be heard in order to build inclusive and sustainable societies,” says Ambassador Häggmark.
Sweden remains one of the main donors to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and is also one of the most significant donors to the United Nations in Cambodia within human rights, gender equality as well as to climate financing.
During the last years, Sweden has geared more attention towards broadening the bilateral relations. Trade and investment promotion activities have increased. Sweden seeks to enhance economic relations with South East Asia, including Cambodia.
Ambassador Häggmark said according to Khmer Times:
“Trade enables growth. However, we must be ambitious with regard to sustainability. Business has an important role to play in achieving the goals of Agenda 2030. I believe that platforms such as the Global Deal for enhanced social dialogue where Sweden and Cambodia are partners are useful in this respect,”
“Enhancing knowledge and skills will be crucial for development in every country. I am glad that Sweden plays such an active role in strengthening education and research in Cambodia. Education, research, vocational training and a strive for innovation in a creative and open society can fulfilled the potential of each individual and build a sustainable future,” Sweden’s new Ambassador added.
According to Khmer Times, Keo Piseth, Mr Samrin’s cabinet chief, told reporters that during the meeting, both sides expressed optimism on future cooperation.
“President Heng Samrin has urged Sweden to continue strengthening cooperation in bilateral, economic, trade, investment, education, tourism and cultural relations,” he noted.