Prime Minister Hun Manet met bilaterally with the leaders of several ASEAN member states on the sidelines of the bloc’s 43rd summit in Indonesia, with the intention of strengthening relations and cooperation.

On September 4, ahead of the start of the September 5-7 summit, Manet held a bilateral meeting with Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at the Istana Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, the capital.

During the meeting, Jokowi said Indonesia stands ready to support Cambodia’s food security infrastructure, according to the Indonesian news agency ANTARA on September 4.

ANTARA cited Jokowi as saying that Indonesia will provide its support through “fertiliser supply and training”. Jokowi also praised the Kingdom for embracing the rice procurement cooperation plan.

“I appreciate Cambodia for welcoming Indonesia’s wish to import around 250,000 tonnes of Cambodian rice per year,” he was quoted as saying.

Jokowi and Manet also agreed to further strengthen and expand cooperation between the two countries, according to a September 4 social media post by the latter.

“The two leaders discussed the existing cooperation between Cambodia and Indonesia, especially in the areas of economy, trade, human resource training, and the fight against terrorism and transnational crime,” the post said, noting that the Indonesian president personally congratulated Manet on his recent appointment.

Manet also held a breakfast meeting and tripartite discussions with his Vietnamese and Lao counterparts, Pham Minh Chinh and Sonexay Siphandone.

The post said the leaders of the three countries agreed “in principle” to continue to work together and push for results to be achieved on their remaining issues. They hope to complete the implementation of demarcation mechanisms soon.

“[They] agreed to continue cooperation in regard to socio-economic aspects, security, people-to-people exchanges, and culture and tradition, as well as further strengthen ties and links between the three nations, including through infrastructure such as bridges, roads, railways and ports, as well as supply chains and tourism,” it added.

According to the post, Chinh also expressed his desire to meet directly with former Prime Minister Hun Sen, currently president of the Supreme Privy Council to the King, in the near future, while Siphandone invited Manet to pay an official visit to Laos in 2024.

Manet and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim also met on September 5, when they discussed enhancing cooperation in politics, trade, education, security and employment.

Manet asked for the support of the Malaysian government for a project to build an underwater power line from Laos through Thailand and to Singapore, which will cross the Malaysian ocean border.

“[Manet and Anwar] also pledged to further strengthen cooperation in the fight against transnational crime and cybercrime, and encouraged investment from Malaysia in Cambodia,” said the post.

On September 5, Manet also met with Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore. The two leaders discussed ways to further enhance cooperation between the two countries.