The official launching of Asian Vision Institute (AVI) was held on 24th January 2019 at Sofitel Hotel Phnom Penh. There were 170 participants including more than 20 foreign diplomats from 18 countries and 20 representatives from international organizations.
The special dialogue on “Cambodia’s foreign policy in a new era” featured three panelists, namely H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana (Senior Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia and Chairman of the Board of Directors of AVI), H.E. Mr. Suos Yara (Director-General of the Asian Cultural Council), and Mr. Cheunboran Chanborey (PhD Scholar at Australian National University and Member of the Board of AVI). The session was moderated by Dr. Chheang Vannarith (President of AVI).
The key takeaways from the dialogue were that foreign policy adjustment have been taken in response to changing global and regional geopolitical and geo-economic environments, geopolitical risks are rising due to geopolitical competition, and Cambodia is seeking to diversify strategic and economic partners. Three key pillars of Cambodia’s foreign policy are economic diplomacy, peace diplomacy, and cultural diplomacy. These pillars can help Cambodia rebrand itself based on its many achievements in culture, economics, and peace, which in turn can be utilised to contribute more to the regional and global community.
The directors of the four centers of AVI presented the mission and action plans of their respective centers. These four centers are the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS), the Center for Governance Innovation and Democracy (CGID), the Center for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS), and the Center for Culture and Peace Studies (CCPS). Each center has its own autonomy to develop and implement projects and programs.
Dr. Dinna Wisnu (Board Member of AVI) and Hon. Noritada Morita (Member of the Visionary Group of AVI) shed light on the historical and cultural significance of Asia. Understanding and appreciating local knowledge help promote the respect of diversity, which in turn contribute to peace and development. They called for furthering knowledge sharing among Asian countries in order to ride the tide and lead the Asian century.
The event received wide media coverage and was reported on by many local media outlets, including:
• The Khmer Times (https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50572351/asian-vision-institute-holds-forum-in-capital/);
• The Phnom Penh Post (https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/intellectuals-found-visionary-institute); and
• Blue TV Cambodia (https://www.facebook.com/958296964233082/posts/2158577287538371/).