Cambodia and the US on Thursday vowed to continue promoting trade and investment at the US-Cambodia Trade and Investment Networking and Mini-Exposition.
The event was part of the celebration of the 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak noted the uptrend of bilateral trade between the two countries, which has ballooned from year to year.
He highlighted the strides that the Cambodian government has made in deepening reforms in the institutional and legal framework, which he said ensure a better business and investment environment in the Kingdom.
“I called on the ambassador to encourage US nationals to invest in Cambodia, especially in the field of e-commerce.
“I remain optimistic on trade and investment cooperation between the two countries, and have agreed in principle to hold the 6th Cambodia-US Joint Council Meeting on Trade and Investment Framework,” he said, without specifying a date.
At the event, US ambassador to Cambodia Patrick Murphy said new US products and investors will enter the Cambodian market each year, further cementing economic ties between the two countries.
He said US companies bring with them transparent and high-quality investment, world-class technology and training programmes, as well as high environmental and labour standards that promote inclusive economic growth.
The US is the largest market for Cambodian exports, taking in $5.4 billion last year, up from $3 billion in 2015, he added.
He noted that the Kingdom exported $2.75 billion worth of goods to the US in the first half of this year, up 23 per cent from $2.24 billion in the same period last year.
“These exports represent and support tens of thousands of Cambodian jobs, especially for factory workers and farmers.
“Cambodian exports also benefit US consumers providing them with more choices in varieties of products such as garments, footwear, Kampot pepper, milled rice and much more,” Murphy said.
At the same event, American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia president Allen Dodgson Tan stressed the richness in the history of US trade and investment in Cambodia, its contribution to the Kingdom’s development and the closeness of the two peoples.
He said the “remarkably special relationship” between the Cambodian and US peoples manifests itself in the US investment exhibited around the Kingdom.
Tan described the availability of Carl’s Junior’s “Western Bacon Cheeseburger”, Louisiana Famous Fried Chicken and sweets from US chains such as Krispy Cream and Cold Stone Creamery in Phnom Penh as “remarkable”.
He noted that US consumer products such as Coca-Cola, Blistex, Palmers and Ford, as well as agricultural products like John Deere Tractors and Scafco Silos are among the most trusted brands by Cambodian consumers and businesses. US products represent quality and value for money, he claimed.
Tan added: “American investments have helped build the Cambodian economy and raise the standard of living for many ordinary Cambodians, while American consumers have benefited from the quality and affordability of goods manufactured by Cambodian workers.”
The US provides Cambodia with preferential trade access under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme, enabling duty free access to the US market for more than 5,000 products. Nearly $1 billion in travel goods were exported to the US last year under GSP.