US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Newbill met with Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun on Wednesday to strengthen cooperation as the US wants to bring investors to the province.
Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesman Kheang Phearum told The Post on Thursday that Newbill told Chamroeun the US wanted to invest in Preah Sihanouk.
This included providing skilled manpower for infrastructure development, helping to train human resources in English and sports, as well as bring US companies to invest in the province’s energy sector.
Phearum said according to Newbill, US Ambassador to Cambodia Patrick Murphy will soon meet with Chamroeun but he did not know what they would discuss.
He said Chamroeun welcomed the US intention. But US investment in the energy sector is at the discretion of the national government and not the provincial authorities.
Chamroeun, he said, requested the US to help provide aid for human resources and the tourism sector and help attract investors to various potential sectors in Preah Sihanouk province.
US embassy spokeswoman Emily Zeeberg said on Thursday that Newbill was pleased to meet with Chamroeun in Sihanoukville on November 6.
“In their meeting, the two officials discussed the rapid development of Cambodia’s coastline, and how we can work together to promote commerce and protect the environment, public safety, and rule of law,” she said.
In October, a US expert on sustainable tourism gave several public lectures in Sihanoukville.
The US Embassy, Zeeberg said, is prepared to facilitate engagements for other experts who can assist with environmental impact studies, waste management plans, and other areas critical for sustainable development that brings benefits to the locals.
Phearum said Chamroeun also told Newbill about a plan to develop Sihanoukville into a Smart City. All work by the authorities such as security, safety and tourist management would be placed under a single technical system, for instance.
“We had prepared for this plan and are putting it into action gradually,” Phearum said.