The BGA Cambodia Team led by Managing Director Bora Chhay, wrote an update to clients on the ASEAN meetings in Cambodia starting amid thorny issues in the region.


  •  as part of its role as the holder of the group’s chairmanship. The meetings include engagements among ASEAN leaders and key dialogue partners at the East Asia Summit (EAS), and they will feature an agenda that addresses topics from regional community-building to the management of issues such as the South China Sea and the deteriorating situation in Myanmar. 
  • Much of the agenda in the meetings will focus on ongoing ASEAN institutional priorities, including post-pandemic recovery and the admission of Timor-Leste into the grouping. ASEAN is trying to advance post-COVID-19 economic recovery and shaping the grouping’s post-2025 vision. It is also setting the stage for Timor-Leste eventually becoming a full ASEAN member, which would grow the grouping to 11 members.


  • Regional issues will also receive significant attention, including trade and the South China Sea. Leaders are expected to review progress of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Cambodia is also keen to avoid a repeat its failure to issue a joint communique over disagreements related to the South China Sea which occurred the last time it hosted in 2012. Cambodia will focus on trying to sustain ongoing talks over a binding ASEAN-China code of conduct.
  • Some proceedings feature interactions with businesses and highlight sectoral areas like technology and finance. The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce will host the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2022 to bring together ASEAN leaders, dialogue partners and business decision-makers to exchange views on issues to include economic recovery and trade. The Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation will organize a first-of-its-kind Cambodia Tech Expo 2022, which will cover areas like the digital economy. 


  • Businesses should carefully monitor the full range of engagements that Cambodia is hosting to assess the implications for its domestic and foreign policy. In addition to the usual set of regional interactions, Prime Minister Hun Sen is holding meetings with several officials, including China’s Premier Li Keqiang where the two will discuss economic ties in areas like infrastructure. Cambodia is also expected to preside over progress in elevating U.S.-ASEAN relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. These meetings will reveal how Phnom Penh is balancing priorities at home and abroad ahead of national elections, set to for July 2023.
  • Companies should also track relevant agenda items that will carry over into Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023, which could affect sectors like infrastructure and energy. The evolution of ASEAN sector-based approaches in areas like the circular economy, sustainable finance and the digital economy will also be key to monitor on an ongoing basis.  

BGA will continue to keep you updated on developments in Cambodia as they occur. If you have any comments or questions, please contact BGA Cambodia Managing Director Bora Chhay at