Diplomatic Briefing: New Decade, Old Challenges?
The Diplomatic Briefing is a biannual collection of categorized opinion pieces and short articles from an extended network of the scholarly community and regional experts, covering a wide range of issues from international relations, to sub-regional affairs, to foreign policy, to economic and trade, and beyond.
Cambodia 2040 Economic Development
Cambodia has experienced drastic changes since the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1991. Twenty-five years later, Cambodia is a lower middle-income country with consistently high GDP growth rates and concomitant improvements in human security as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). The question that Cambodia confronts today is a seemingly simple one, but which is in fact remarkably complex: Whither Cambodia? From energy to industrialization to agriculture, how are the diverse sectors of Cambodian society and the Cambodian economy likely to develop over the next two decades?
E-Governance in Cambodia
The digital economy is already impacting the Kingdom of Cambodia in a variety of ways. New business models, new sectors and new capabilities have developed over the last two decades. And even if not all Cambodians are digital natives, many are at least Facebook and smartphone natives with a mobile subscription rate of 117% and more than 9 million Facebook users. However, Cambodia is still at the beginning of developing a comprehensive approach to deal with challenges related to the mega trend digitalization.
One of these challenges is the government adaption of ICTs and the digital transformation towards a more sustainable, open and inclusive government. That does not happen by itself as digital transformation is a human pioneered and empowered process. Fundamental changes regarding the way we cooperate and communicate, organize government services, lead staff, develop existing skills and give new ones to officials, set priorities and strategies as well as create a new cultural mindset are paramount factors in that transformation. Ultimately, it is about cultivating new connections, encouraging exploration, enabling potential and championing the shift.
This publication brought together authors from all walks of life in order to explore and mature thoughts, ideas and knowledge about decisive e-government topics, which include cyber security, the role of data and trust, Facebook and service provision tailored to citizens and business needs.
The great insight and conclusion is that significantly more research has to be done in order to provide scientific and thoroughly thought through ideas to key stakeholders of the government´s digital journey, which involves the citizens, society and even culture more than some might think. All contributors to this publication demonstrate that e-government can have an impact in many ways. It is also evident that when the Royal Government wants to materialize its vision of becoming a digital society and high income country by 2050, the development of the digital government has to go hand in hand with the development of digital infrastructure, digital business, digital capabilities and digital trustworthiness.
We hope this publication will get you involved in the topic and encourage you to not just read, but also to provide us with critical feedback and ideas in order to grow the research community!
Have a good read and keep on learning, exploring and sharing!
Cambodia´s ASEM Chairmanship 2020: Small Country with Big tasks
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an Asian-European political dialogue forum founded in 1996 with an aim to enhance relations and cooperation between the countries in Asia and Europe. The initial goal of ASEM at its inception was to provide a platform to foster political dialogues, strengthen economic and cultural cooperation, and tackle global challenges.
From 2020 onwards, Asia and Europe need to deepen their cooperation in multi-faceted areas given growing trade and connectivity initiatives between the two regions, and the threat of trade protectionism in other parts of the world. In terms of trade, the bilateral turnover between the two continents has so far reached €1.5 trillion per annum, and their combined Gross Domestic Products account for approximately 60 per cent of the global GDP. Apart from the growing trade, the number of connectivity initiatives still lag behind the development needs of the two continents. In addition, the global trade today has been significantly curtailed by the rising trade protectionism steered by certain global powers; therefore, Asian and European countries should endeavour to defend the multilateral trading system for continuous and shared economic prosperity.
Next year, the Kingdom of Cambodia, as an ASEM member, has the great pleasure to host the 13th Asia-Europe Summit for the very first time in the history of this small nation. This is a great opportunity for Cambodia to showcase its achievements and grab the opportunities brought by initiatives of the forum.
However, the Kingdom is also facing some difficulties in hosting such a big historical event. In order to overcome the hardship, the Kingdom is expected to learn from the past experiences of different countries in organizing the event, as well as to come up with substantial initiatives, which bring tangible and positive outcomes for the deepening cooperation between the two continents. In doing so, the Asian Vision Institute (AVI), an independent think tank based in Cambodia, in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Phnom Penh, decided to publish a book entitled: “Cambodia’s ASEM Chairmanship 2020: Small Country with Big Tasks”.
This book is a compilation of perspectives and inputs of prominent scholars and senior foreign policy makers across Asia and Europe with the aim to provide knowledge about what ASEM is, its relevance, opportunities and challenges of implementing ASEM initiatives, perspectives of the ASEM partners towards the forum, and what can be done to concretize the ASEM cooperation initiatives. Furthermore, the book provides insights into rationales of Cambodia’s decision to chair such a big event, despite its limited resources.
We, the AVI and KAS team members, believe that this book will be a big contribution to readers in their pursuit of deepen and broaden their knowledge about ASEM-related issues, and to those attempting to address and overcome challenges facing the forum. Needless to say, the book is undoubtedly useful for policy makers, academics and students of International Relations.
We wish you a good read and new insights!
Phnom Penh, 25 July 2019
Asian Vision Institute & Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS)