Here is the integral text of a Statement delivered by His Excellency Senior Minister HOR Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the IDEA Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo on 12 August 2002 :
Excellency Madam Chairperson,
Your Royal Highness,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. First of all, allow me, Madam Chairperson, to express my most sincere appreciation to you and your colleagues for the warm hospitality and the excellent arrangement of our meeting today.
2. First, 1 believe that IDEA is a bold and a very important and positive initiative for the development of our entire East Asia region, based on our common understanding that this in the interest of all of us, East Asia as a whole. I also believe that we will have much to gain, all together, North East and Southeast Asia, in pushing forward ASEAN integration as the way to enhancing East Asia cooperation.
3. I believe that the materialization of this initiative will promote economic growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development in our region. I also think that the implementation of IDEA would further strengthen peace, security and prosperity in this region. As development experience demonstrated in the past, ODA continue to play a significant role in ASEAN development and prosperity.
The ASEAN member countries achieved in the past years economic development by effectively utilizing Japanese ODA.
4. IDEA, in my view, will help pave the way for, in Prime Minister's words, "Act Together and Advance Together". Given its stated goals, IDEA could be an important catalyst for ASEAN, particularly the new members, to meet the challenges of the world today.
To act together and advance together, it should not be, I believe, a wide gap between partners within ASEAN and between ASEAN and +3 countries. Therefore, I fully share the views of our colleagues from Singapore and Malaysia regarding the importance and the necessity to realize IAI East Asia cooperation.
5. However, while talking about East Asian development experience, I wish to share with you the Cambodian perspective on development and growth. Based on our experience, believe that there are several key elements which are important for economic development in our region, such as stable macroeconomics policies, policy coherence, substantive investments in infrastructure, human resource development, and good governance.
6. Nevertheless, I believe that the official development assistance remains necessary and vital for ASEAN, particularly the new members, as they need to catch up with the development in the region. Once fully integrated, ASEAN becomes an equal partner with North East Asian countries, which would be beneficial to the whole East Asia region.
7. Equally necessary and important, I think that private investment is crucial for the development of any country. ODA alone is not sufficient. Therefore, any help from the Japanese Government in this sense would be very important for the new members of ASEAN, in particular Cambodia, where Japanese investment is very weak.
8. Finally, I think that with internal public investment, efficient and transparent use of ODA and FDI, ASEAN can continue to move ahead with stable economic growth and sustainable development in the years to come. This would ultimately help advance East Asia through narrowing regional development gap.
Allow me to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the government of Japan for helping greatly Cambodia in the economic and social development.
Thank you very much.