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PM meets with US business giants

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Prime Minister Hun Sen (left) bumps fists with US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) senior vice-president and regional managing director Michael Michalak at Thursday’s meeting. SPM

PM meets with US business giants

Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC).

A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod Ricard – met with the premier, ministers and officials at the Peace Palace on May 5 in a meeting organised by the US-ABC.

The US delegation was led by US-ABC regional managing director Michael Michalak and public relations manager Jack Myint as well as US embassy deputy chief of mission Benjamin Wohlauer.

During the meeting, Michalak led the 13 companies in discussions that spanned energy issues, the establishment of a car assembly plant in Pursat province and the spurring of the digital economy and health sector in Cambodia.

During the meeting, he thanked the Cambodian government for supporting the US-ABC and expressed his support for the Kingdom’s ASEAN chairmanship.

“The leadership of Hun Sen has been beneficial for the region, especially with regards to the issues in Myanmar,” Michalak was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the premier’s official Facebook page after the meeting.

Michalak was said to have praised the implementation of Covid-19 prevention measures in Cambodia, which he said has led to the successful reopening of the Kingdom’s economy.

Hun Sen thanked the US for donating Covid-19 vaccines to Cambodia. He also welcomed the establishment of car assembly plants, and encouraged the companies to continue investing and exploring potential investment opportunities in Cambodia.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng said that the meeting was a good means for the Kingdom to attract US investment.

He also pointed to the Sino-US trade dispute and the entry into force of the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement as other “great” opportunities for US companies to expand their business presence in the Kingdom.

“We really want to see more US companies, especially in the agro-industrial sector, come to Cambodia, because we have a lot of raw materials and mineral resources,” he said.

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and the US in the first three months of 2022 rose 48.1 per cent year-on-year to $2.92 billion, from $1.97 billion, according to data from the US Census Bureau on May 5.

Cambodia’s exports to the US in January-March totalled $2.8070 billion, up 50.7 per cent year-on-year from $1.8629 billion, while imports from the US were up three per cent on a yearly basis, from $106.3 million to $109.5 million.

This resulted in a trade surplus of $2.6976 billion for Cambodia that widened by 53.6 per cent from $1.7567 billion from the same period last year.

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