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UK, US pledge ASEAN support

120705_09
British Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne speaks during a press conference in Phnom Penh earlier this week. Photograph: Meng Kimlong/ Phnom Penh Post

The United States has expressed its commitment to the success of next week’s 19th ASEAN Regional Forum, which will be held in Phnom Penh, while British Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne said on the same day that the United Kingdom plans to strengthen its relationship with Cambodia and the ASEAN nations.

Both statements were made at separate meetings with Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace yesterday.

The UK is the fourth-largest investor in Cambodia and the US is the fifth, according to reports from the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

Between 1994 and 2011, Cambodia received investments of US$2.4 billion from the UK and $1.28 billion from the United States, the CDC said.

Total trade volume last year between the UK and Cambodia was $178 million, up 48 per cent compared to the same period the previous year, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, while total trade volume between the US and Cambodia was $2.9 billion in 2011, up 18 per cent year-on-year, according to statistics from the US Department of Commerce.

The UK is committed to doubling trade volume with ASEAN in the next five years, British Foreign Office Minister Browne said at the Peace Palace.

Browne arrived in Cambodia on Monday for a two-day visit, according to a press release from the British Embassy in Phnom Penh.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks forward to her participation in the 19th ASEAN Regional Forum, US ambassador William E Todd said.

During her stay here, Clinton will lead the largest-ever business delegation to the US-ASEAN Business Forum in Siem Reap, Todd said.

“This is a terrific opportunity for Cambodia to showcase what it has to offer businesses from the United States and throughout the region,” Todd said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abe Becker at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com

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