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Business council enlisted in US investor push

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Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak is speaking at a virtual working discussion with a delegation from the US-ASEAN Business Council, led by senior vice-president and regional managing director Michael W Michalak – who served as US ambassador to Vietnam in 2007-2011. SUPPLIED

Business council enlisted in US investor push

Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak expressed optimism that more US companies would discover Cambodia, and set up base in or expand operations in the Kingdom, as trade between the two countries logged more than $5.5 billion in January-August, up by 28.5 per cent year-on-year.

The minister was speaking at a virtual working discussion with a delegation from the US-ASEAN Business Council, led by senior vice-president and regional managing director Michael W Michalak – who served as US ambassador to Vietnam in 2007-2011.

The meeting sought to strengthen trade relations and encourage investment from the US to Cambodia.

The discussion was also attended by the US embassy officials and representatives of the council and international companies such as Conoco Phillips, Ford Motor, Amazon, Walmart, Pernod Ricard, Visa and Jhpiego.

Sorasak underlined that the success of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign has prepared Cambodia for a reopening of socio-economic activity in all areas.

He added that the Kingdom has carried out in-depth reforms in many fields, and rolled out a number of socio-economic policies to restore and stimulate the Cambodian economy to overcome Covid-19 aftereffects.

“I would like to encourage, and continue to support and facilitate US companies with any requests and questions, [they] can contact the Ministry of Commerce or myself to resolve, as well as coordinate with the relevant ministries and institutions,” Sorasak said.

Cambodia has recently introduced a number of instruments, such as the Cambodia Digital Economy and Society Policy 2021-2035; laws on e-commerce, consumer protection and competition; and the organisation and functions of the General Department of Consumer Protection, the minister said.

Other regulation related to competition and anti-fraud management has also been adopted, which he said give special attention to intellectual property protections.

The Kingdom has also signed bilateral free trade agreements (FTA) with China and South Korea, as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, he added.

Michalak congratulated Cambodia on its success in its Covid-19 vaccination and socio-economic restoration plans, and thanked the Kingdom for its continued attention to cooperating and coordinating with the council’s teams in Cambodia.

He also pledged to encourage US investors to enter the Cambodian arena to underprop the Kingdom’s post-Covid-19 economic recovery.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on November 3 that a buoyant influx of investors from “major countries” is something each country desires.

The US is not only a large and prosperous economy, but also a country that leverages modern technological advancements, he said, adding that the arrival of more US investors would also bring new technologies to Cambodia.

“Cambodia has been doing a lot of work to increase its potential to attract investors from all over the world,” he said, indicating: “The new investment laws and bilateral FTAs with China, South Korea and the region will also be a force to lure investment into Cambodia.”

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