(Phnom Penh) In a reflection of the growing interest in Cambodia from the U.S. business community, the US-ASEAN Business Council today concluded a two-day Business Mission to Phnom Penh, which saw the Council bring its largest delegation yet of Senior Executives to the Kingdom of Cambodia. The delegation of 11 Leading U.S. Companies was co-led by Frances Zwenig of the Council and Daisy Liu, Manager for International Government Affairs for ConocoPhillips, the Chair of the Council's Cambodia Committee.
The U.S. companies, all of which are members of the Fortune 500, with 9 of the 11 ranking in the top 73, represent a broad range of spectrums and include companies which have been active in Cambodia for many years as well as some which have just become interested in the market. Cambodia’s upcoming chairmanship of ASEAN, and the important work to be done to further ASEAN integration, has helped galvanize corporate interest in the Country.
“The Council has seen a steady growth in U.S. corporate focus on Cambodia over the past ten years,” said Frances Zwenig. “This year’s mission is our largest to date, which reflects on the progress Cambodia has made in improving its business environment.”
The delegation discussed their companies positions as stakeholders in the continuing growth of Cambodia, and discussed ways they could partner with the Government of Cambodia to help further Cambodia’s integration into the global economy.
The Council for the Development of Cambodia noted a sharp rise in U.S. investment in Cambodia this year. Through the first half of the year, U.S. investment stands at $142 million, as compared to $34.5 through the same time period in 2010. Bilateral trade stands at around $1 billion in the first half of the year, comprised mainly of exports from Cambodia's garment industry.
During their visit, the delegation met with Prime Minister Hun Sen, Deputy PM and Minister of Finance Keat Chhon, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh, Minister of Posts and Telecommunication So Khun, Minister of Health Mam Bunheng, Secretary General Sok Chenda Sophea, and Minister of Industry Suey Sem.
Companies participating on the delegation included ConocoPhillips, Chevron, GE, Abbott, Cisco, Dell, Federal Express, Johnson & Johnson, MasterCard Worldwide, RMA Group, and Visa International.
Many delegation members will continue on to participate in the Council's Business Missions to Laos and Vietnam.