A high profile delegation from Germany’s largest opposition party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has begun their significant diplomatic mission to Cambodia, which the government is confident will enhance relations between the two sides.
Government spokesman Pen Bona said yesterday that Cambodia warmly welcomes all foreign guests, including Germany’s largest opposition party, to observe the “real situation” in the Kingdom.
“I believe that Cambodia and Germany have an excellent relationship. Therefore, through this visit, I am confident it will take our current relations to another level in the fields of diplomacy, economics, and trade,” he added.
Bona highlighted that the new government under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Manet has been diligently maintaining the foreign relations framework established by the previous government under former Prime Minister Hun Sen’s leadership.
Comprising Johannes Steiniger, a member of the Bundestag or German Parliament and member of the Finance Committee, and Stefan Heck, also a Bundestag member and CDU federal executive committee member, the delegation is in Cambodia from yesterday to Wednesday.
The week-long visit, which also includes stops in Thailand, aims to bolster diplomatic ties and foster mutual trade cooperation with both nations, particularly in light of their recently formed new governments.
The delegation’s trip to Southeast Asia is a strategic response to the increasing political and economic influence of China in the region. By engaging directly with key stakeholders in Cambodia and Thailand, the delegation seeks to underscore Germany’s commitment to maintaining strong ties in Southeast Asia.
During their visit, the delegation is slated to hold high-level meetings with top Cambodian government officials, policymakers and influential figures from various sectors.
Crucial institutions involved in these discussions are the National Assembly, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
This mission signifies a pivotal moment in Germany’s foreign relations, reflecting a heightened interest in Southeast Asian politics and economics. The aim is to forge new avenues for collaboration, especially in trade, technology, and innovation, further cementing Germany’s role as a key global player.
“The visit primarily serves to deepen diplomatic relations with Cambodia and Thailand, which is essential for maintaining and promoting German interests in a global context. Direct exchanges with local actors offer opportunities to explore new paths for cooperation and economic partnerships that contribute to both the German economy and sustainable development in the visited countries,” said Heck.
“The delegation visit enables members of the parliament to gain a deeper understanding of the political, social and economic realities in Southeast Asia. This in-depth knowledge is fundamentally important for the implementation of Germany’s foreign policies,” added Steiniger.
Steiniger, representing the Neustadt-Speyer constituency in Berlin, has been a member of the Bundestag since 2013, focusing on the Finance Committee and advocating for fair tax policies and support for employees and entrepreneurs in Germany.
Having studied law in Marburg and Krakow, Heck completed his studies in 2007 with the first state examination in law.
In 2012, he obtained his doctorate in law in Marburg and has since held various positions, including State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and Sport.
He has also been a member of the CDU Federal Executive Committee since December 2016.