US urged to expand its investment in Asean region

US urged to expand its investment in Asean region
Khmer Times 16 Nov 2020

Cambodia has called on the US businesses to expand their investment in Asean  to boost partnerships.

The call was made at the Asean-US summit attended by Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth via videoconference on Saturday as Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn has gone into 14-day self-quarantine at his home after coming in contact with Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto who tested positive for COVID-19 after paying a visit to Cambodia.

In its statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Cambodia emphasised that both sides [Asean-US] need to further increase two-way trade and investment flows through the implementation of the “2020-2021 Asean-US Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (FA)”.

“Cambodia encouraged the American business community to expand their investment in Asean,” it said.

The statement said Cambodia is committed to strengthening Asean-US partnerships and called for more US collaboration in building the capabilities of young entrepreneurs to grow and prosper in the age of digital economy and to give empathy to the collaboration on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and digital education programmes.

It said the Asean leaders appreciated the US’ continued support for Asean centrality, the Asean Community building efforts and multilateralism, including collaboration through the framework of Asean Outlook on Indo-Pacific.

The leaders also appreciated the work of the US Asean Business Council (USABC) in promoting stronger ties between both sides’ business communities, it said. They shared their views on the importance of reinforcing collaboration to navigate a post COVID-19 economic recovery.

Asean leaders welcomed the US’ support in building a more people-oriented Asean community through education, capacity building and development programmes, added the statement.

The meeting also adopted the Asean-US Joint Statement on Human Capital Development.

This year marked the 43rd Anniversary of Asean-US dialogue relations and the 5th anniversary of the strategic partnership.

The meeting noted the full implementation of the action plan for Asean-US Strategic Partnership 2016-2020 and the adoption of the new Plan of Action 2021-2025.

Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute director Kin Phea told Khmer Times yesterday that the US investment size in the whole of Asean is big, but in Cambodia remains relatively small.

He said if the US increases its investment in Cambodia, it will contribute to economic growth, creating job opportunities and attracting further foreign investments.

“The investment climate needs stronger law enforcement, a reliable judicial system, to be corruption and bribery-free and transparency,” Phea said. “To attract foreign investors from the US and the West, it is important to have affordable costs of water and electricity supply, logistic services and transportation and road infrastructure.”