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US official pushes for investment agreement

US Under Secretary of State Catherine Novelli (left) speaks during a media roundtable in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photo supplied
US Under Secretary of State Catherine Novelli (left) speaks during a media roundtable in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photo supplied

US official pushes for investment agreement

A visiting US government official urged Cambodia to continue with negotiations to develop a bilateral investment agreement between the two nations that could be used for further trade inclusion.

Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment explained that the US had already submitted a framework agreement to the Cambodian government.

“In terms of the bilateral investment treaty, the ball is really in Cambodia’s court,” she said.

“One of the reasons we are so interested in the treaty is because the provisions are nearly identical to those in the TPP,” she said, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

While there is no set timeframe for implementation, she said that the US was willing to move as “fast as the Cambodian government is”.

However, during her meetings with government officials, she said that she had to point out that economics and politics are not always separate.

“There have been some issues around NGOs and political issues, and I pointed out that companies watch these things very closely when deciding to invest.”

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