Towards an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015:
Opportunities and Challenges for Cambodia
22 August, 2012
The roundtable discussion on 22 August,2012, on “Towards an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015: Opportunities and Challenges for Cambodia” at the Sunway Hotel has the following objectives:
-Reflect the challeges and opportunities for Cambodia as the country will join the ASEAN economic community in 2015. Thus, the country and its people can be well prepared fort he economic intergration
– Raise more awarness among Cambodian journalists of opportunities and challenges for Cambodia at the time when the 10-state Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) becomes the single market
– Encourage Cambodian journalists to improve themselves on the ASEAN issues
– Encourage Cambodian journalists to do more research and write more stories for their respective audiences whule the country is becoming in regionalisation
The discussion is expected have the following impacts:
-Journalists have better undertsand about ASEAN so that they can report more on the ASEAN issues
-Journalists will be able to be well-prepared for the regional coverage of ASEAN related issues
-The people, government officials, and other stakeholders gain more regional knowledge about the ASEAN and ist economic community which will affect over 600 million people
In order to implement the project, the Club of Cambodian Journalists gets the funding from Konrad Adenauer Foundation which is the only funding source of the roundtable discussion.
In the discussion, the Club of Cambodian Journalists invites two main guest speakers: H.E Khieu Kanharith, Information Minister, and H.E Sok Sok Syphanna, adviser for the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation, and former offcial of the World Trade Organisation. At the smae time, Mr Denis Schrey, Country Representative of Konrad- Adenauer-Stiftung, also attended the discussion in which he gave experience about EU integration and community building.
The target groups of the discussion are:
-Journalists (direct/key target group) who are responsible for bringing news to the public.
-Public (indirect target group): It is important that the public through the media need to know on the ASEAN issue while their country is integrating into the region.
-State and non-state officials (indirect target group): the roundtable discussion also deliver a message to those who are both government and non-government institutions working on the ASEAN issues to cooperate with journalists. When journalists have access to information on the issues, the public will also access to such information
-The roundtable discussion start with presentation by speakers before the floor is given to the participants. After the opening remarks by the CCJ president, the floor was given to Mr.Denis Schrey, country representative of KAS to Cambodia, in order for him to share the experience about EU community building, which can be helpful for ASEAN to learn as lesson when the ten-country bloc is committed to establishing the economic community in 2015.
After his presentation, Sok Syphanna took the floor to make the presentation in which he reflected the challenges and opportunities for Cambodia as it prepares itself to join the ASEAN economic community.
The floor was then given to H.E Khieu Kanharith, the information minister who gave some recommendations for the journalists in order for them to play more active role in the ASEAN community building through educating the people via their reports.
The discussion drew a lot of attention by the journalists and it was covered by many media outlet, reflecting the importance of the topic in the discussion.
However, in the discussion we noticed that the journalists asked many questions which are not related to the topic. This may be caused by their limited knowledge about ASEAN.
The speakers also did not prepared any written presentation, making their presentation less concrete and less informative.
4. Recommendations (on Sustainability/Continuation/Application)
Since there are many issues in ASEAN, CCJ shall organize more discussion about ASEAN and related issues. Likewise, to improve the discussion, CCJ shall also request the speakers to prepare written presentation in order to make their presentation rich in information.
Phnom Penh, 18 September 2012.