Commerce Minister Pitches For More US Investments

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Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak is urging more American companies to follow in the footsteps of Coca Cola Company and invest in Cambodia.

Pan Sorasak speaks at the inaugration of Coca Cola’s Aqua Tower. Facebook

Mr Sorasak made the call during the inauguration of Coca Cola’s Aqua Tower, a water purification tower, in Kampong Cham province on Friday.

“I take this opportunity to call on foreign investors, especially from the US, to continue to believe in the government’s leadership and to invest more in Cambodia and emulate Coca-Cola’s successful experiences,” he said. “At the same time, I would like to inform that the government is committed to promoting the business environment and has deepened reforms to strengthen Cambodia’s competitiveness by reducing bureaucracy, modernizing technology and telecommunications, reducing electricity prices and building physical infrastructure.”

“There are also many favorable factors in new investment laws and regulations to promote investment and trade facilitation. In addition, Cambodia is the most peaceful and secure territory in the region and does not have political turmoil or natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, hurricane, major floods and earthquakes. In contrast, countries with political or natural disasters will cause inevitable loss of millions of dollars,” Mr Sorasak added.

Recent data from the US trade office showed that Cambodia’s total exports to the United States last year grew nearly 25 percent while the total import also went up nearly 11 percent.

Last year Cambodia exported goods worth $3.82 billion to the United States, up from $3.06 billion in 2017, while the United States’ exports to Cambodia was $446.6 million in 2018, up from $400.2 million in the previous year, according to the data.

In July 2016, Cambodia was granted duty-free benefits for exports of travel-related prodiucts like luggage, backpacks, handbags and wallets to the United States under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for Least Developed Countries.

Long Kemvichet, Ministry of Commerce spokesman, recently said that Cambodia benefited from the GSP on travel-related products which were the main contributors to export growth to the US. In 2018, Cambodia exported $280 million worth of travel-related products, almost double the export value in 2017.

“We need to strengthen our productivity and trade competitiveness so that we can compete with other export countries regardless of if we have preferential treatment or not,” he said. “The ministry has already submitted petitions for garment and footwear exports to the US and if these are successful then it will provide Cambodia with more opportunities to expand exports to the US.”

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.