Single title

Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship: Network of Innovative Villages for Regional Harmony and Prosperity

by Pheap Chakriya, Mey Mithona, Taing Kimleang, Sok Chansophea
This chapter emphasises the importance of rural villages in supporting regional de¬velopment, highlighting innovative villages of ASEAN member states. The chapter suggests that an innovative approach be established to promote vibrant rural village development across Southeast Asia, contributing to national development and regional integration.

The economic disparity among ASEAN Member States (AMS) remains a key challenge for the ASEAN Community to achieve its common goals. Some members are less developed while others are more advanced in their economic development. Hence, AMS has been categorised into new (CLMV) and old members (ASEAN-6), making bridging the development gap a core task for the leaders for ASEAN integration to position the region to benefit from global economic growth. Accordingly, various approaches and core activities have been initiated, such as the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), a strategic framework to narrow the development divide and enhance ASEAN’s competitiveness. It was launched in November 2000. The goal is to primarily support CLMV to narrow the development gap. Many goals of poverty alleviation and increasing regional rural development are articulated in the ASEAN economic integration process (ASEAN Secretariat 2012). At the regional level, various innovative village initiatives and programmes have been developed according to local contexts, with the emphasis on digital transformation and innovation on agriculture, climate change, tourism innovation, etc. However, the key concern is how AMS innovate rural approaches to promote the revitalisation of the roles of rural villages in supporting national development and eventually achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set out in the ASEAN agenda in November 2015 (ASEAN Secretariat 2015).
This chapter aims at emphasising the importance of rural villages in supporting regional development, highlighting innovative villages of AMS. The focus on innovative villages provides rationales and useful lessons from AMS. The chapter suggests that an innovative approach be established to promote vibrant rural village development across Southeast Asia, contributing to national development and regional integration.