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H.E Dr. THONG Khon at the Opening Ceremony of ASEAN+3 Joint Cultural Performances

Welcome Remarks
H.E Dr. THONG Khon, Minister of Tourism
At the Opening Ceremony of ASEAN+3 Joint Cultural Performances: Unity in Diversity – Siem Reap Angkor: Cultural City of East Asia 2012

Siem Reap 3rd November 2012

Highly respected

  • H.E Dr SOK An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in-charge of the Council of Ministers and Lok Chumteav
  • H.E Mr. HIM Chhem, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts
  • Excellency Ambassadors of ASEAN and ASEAN+3 to Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Excellencies Head of delegates and performers
  • Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:


In this auspicious evening please allow me, on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Siem Reap Provincial Authority, Apsara Authority, and the Inter-ministerial Organizing Committee for the ASEAN+3 Joint Cultural Performances, to express my heartfelt gratitude to H.E Dr SOK An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in-charge of the Council of Ministers and Lok Chumteav for taking tight schedule to preside over the opening ceremony of the ASEAN+3 Joint Cultural Performances.

I would also take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks and warm welcomes to all heads of delegates and performers from ASEAN and ASEAN+3 countries to Siem Reap Angkor, Home of the World Heritage.

‑ Excellency Deputy Prime Minister, Excellencies,   Ladies and Gentlemen:

Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder is rich of diverse natural and cultural heritages, manifestly the well-known World Heritages such as Angkor Wat and Preah Vihear temple, pristine bay, realm of ecotourism, and charming of good-natured people. In particular, Siem Reap Angkor – Home of the World Heritage consists of 292 ancient temples of which there are 200 temples located in 401 square-kilometers within the Angkor archeological site that is the core foundation for tourism development of Cambodia which is linked to Preah Vihear – Cambodia’s 2nd World Heritage, Northeast ecotourism attraction and to Coastal zone (where Cambodia Bay is acclaimed as the full-fledged member of the Most Beautiful Bay in the World Club and named as the Rising Star of the Southwest).

Above all, Siem Reap-Angkor is the heart and the most prime tourist attraction not just for Cambodia but for the region and the world as whole, and that it is the hub connecting to various domestic, regional and international destinations.

In 2011, Cambodia received 2.8 million international tourists with an increase of 15%; particularly Siem Reap-Angkor received 1.6 million international tourists increased 21.7% with million domestic tourists. For the 9-month of 2012, Cambodia received 2.5 million international tourists, an increase of 23.6%, in which Siem Reap-Angkor received 1.4 million international tourists, an increase of 27.4% compared to the same period in 2011. According to the projection, Siem Reap-Angkor is estimated to receive approximately 3 million international​ tourists by 2015 and 4 million by 2020 while the whole country will receive approximately    4.5 million and     7 million respectively.

following the spirit of ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers Meeting held on 10th July 2012 in Siem Reap-Angkor, Kingdom of Cambodia​, Siem Reap-Angkor was designated as the “Cultural City of East Asia 2012” and “2012 is the Visit ASEAN+3 Year”. we, therefore, organize tonight’s joint cultural performances under the theme “Unity in Diversity” with performers from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan and Republic of Korea in order to celebrate the spirit of ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers Meeting and the designation of Siem Reap-Angkor as “the Cultural City of East Asia 2012” and “The Visit ASEAN+3 Year).        I hope this event tonight not only reflects the richness and diversity of arts, culture, tradition, custom and livelihoods of the ASEAN+3 but also intensify and enhance the bond of friendship, solidarity and cooperation of all sectors, especially culture and tourism between ASEAN+3 countries and the entire world. Moreover, this event will make Siem Reap-Angkor more globally well-known and become a tourism heritage destination in the region and the world.

Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder and Siem Reap-Angkor awaits welcoming all visitors from the region and the world.

Before concluding my remarks, I wish Excellency Deputy Prime Minister and Lok Chumteav, Excellency Ambassadors, delegates, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen be healthy, happy, successful in career and prosperous together forever.

Please allow me to inform regarding our joint cultural performance, there are approximately 173 delegates from ASEAN+3 member countries and around 1,000 audiences.

Once again, thank you so much, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us tonight. Please enjoy the joint cultural performances and have a pleasurable and memorial stay in Siem Reap-Angkor, the Cultural City of East Asia 2012.

Thank you.