British minister for Asia Milling on two-day visit across Kingdom

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Amanda Milling (centre) meets Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, on Monday. AMANDA MILLING VIA TWITTER

Amanda Milling, British minister of state for Asia, arrived in Cambodia on January 9 for her first visit since the UK became an official dialogue partner of ASEAN, which Cambodia chairs this year.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Koy Kuong told The Post on January 10 that he did not know exactly which officials she planned to meet or what topics she intended to discuss, referring further questions to the British embassy in Phnom Penh.

“Over the next couple of days, Minister Milling will meet a range of Cambodian partners in government, business and civil society to discuss strengthening ties with the region by boosting trade, tackling Covid-19, our shared values, climate change and the UK’s role as an [ASEAN] dialogue partner,” the embassy said in a Facebook post on January 9.

It said the first stop for Milling during her visit on January 9 was a meeting with successful and inspiring female entrepreneurs and leaders. It said Milling heard from “Women of the Future” award-winners, Chevening scholarship alumni and other business leaders on the topic of entrepreneurship.

“Fantastic to meet so many female leaders and entrepreneurs in Cambodia,” Milling tweeted on January 9.

“The UK is a strong supporter of gender equality and women’s empowerment so it is inspiring to see a new generation of brilliant women in Southeast Asia coming through, challenging stereotypes and making an impact.”

On January 10, Milling met with the British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (BritCham) to discuss opportunities and challenges for UK businesses operating in Cambodia. She also highlighted the significance of the UK’s commitment to boosting trade with Cambodia and the rest of Southeast Asia.

“Great to talk with British businesses in Cambodia about the opportunities for growth, jobs and trade in the country,” she tweeted later that day. “I reiterated the UK’s commitment to boosting trade in Southeast Asia and supporting companies that are creating jobs and prosperity here and back home.”

Milling also met with Sok Touch, president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), and Kin Phea, director of the RAC’s International Relations Institute.

“We discussed the year ahead for UK-Cambodia relations and Cambodia’s priorities for ASEAN in 2022,” she tweeted.