Cambodia, U.S Senior Trade Officials Discuss Bilateral Cooperation

Cambodia’s Acting Minister of Commerce H.E. Kem Sithan and H.E. Ms. Catherine A. Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and Environment held talks here on Thursday afternoon on bilateral trade cooperation.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, the meeting focused on a number of cooperation areas including eco-tourism, agro-business (i.e. organic rice, fish, GI pepper, etc.) as well as other social and economic development initiatives, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), “Global Connect”, and so on.

H.E. Kem Sithan expressed his sincere appreciation to the United States for granting concession to Cambodia under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, which would certainly benefit almost half million Cambodian workers and contribute US$1 billion to the economy.

“The U.S. is an active participant in the growth of the Cambodian garment sector, especially in terms of development initiatives and capacity development,” he said.

For her part, H.E. Ms. Novelli expressed her satisfaction with the success stories of Cambodian garment sector, which is the result of good labour policy. She informed the acting minister about the U.S. assistance programs.

“The U.S. has agricultural and aqua-cultural development program to help Cambodia to explore new markets, improve productivity, and create value-added,” she added.

Concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), H.E. Ms. Novelli inquired whether the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) is considering participating in this agreement since once the agreement comes into effect, it may have negative impact on the textile and garment sector.

In response, H.E. Kem Sithan stated that the RGC has already conducted several workshops to assess the impact of the TPP to Cambodian economy.

For “Global Connect,” it is aiming to provide internet connection to 1.5 billion people globally by 2020. The U.S. has conducted several symposiums which attracted interests from a number of multilateral development banks as well as Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that have pledged their support to the initiative because it would benefit people as the internet presents a wealth of information.

 

Source: AKP