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Cambodia welcomes US lifting of loan ban

Cambodia welcomes US lifting of loan ban

GOVERNMENT officials on Sunday expressed support for the recent US decision to remove Cambodia from a blacklist that made American companies operating in the Kingdom ineligible for export-financing products.

US President Barack Obama signed a memorandum Friday stating that Cambodia no longer qualified as "a Marxist-Leninist country" under the terms spelled out in the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, which established the government agency charged with promoting the export of American goods and services. The ban was also lifted on Laos.

US Embassy spokesman John Johnson described the signing of the memo as "the start of a very lengthy process".

"A lot of things need to happen before this comes into full effect," he said, though he could not elaborate on additional steps that needed to be taken.

The US Export-Import Bank authorised US$243.74 million to ASEAN last year in loans, guarantees and insurance, most of which - $234.73 million - went to Singapore.

Senior Cambodian People's Party lawmaker Cheam Yeap said that he had urged US officials to take steps to bolster bilateral trade while visiting the United States as part of a parliamentary delegation from May 30 to Tuesday.

"I think that President Barack Obama removed our country from his trade blacklist because he recognised our development, and this will pave the way for businesspersons to get loans from American banks to do business here," he said.

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