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US-ASEAN Business Council Brings Record-Breaking Business Delegation to Cambodia

(Phnom Penh) - A delegation of 14 leading U.S. companies organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council arrived in Phnom Penh to engage with high-level Cambodian government officials and other stakeholders on expanding U.S.-Cambodia trade and investment ties. The Business Mission is led by Mark Lewis of ConocoPhillips, Chair of the Council’s Cambodia Committee, Dararith Lim of GE, Vice-Chair of the Council’s Cambodia Committee, and Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council.

During its visit, the delegation consulted with the Royal Cambodian Government on its efforts to “Rebrand Cambodia” and ways to expand stakeholder consultation during policy formulation. The delegation expressed interest in the Royal Government’s initiatives to promote better governance and transparency, technological development, corporate governance, financial inclusion, human resource development and SMEs.

“We are encouraged by the active dialogue between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Council’s delegation,” said Amb. Michael Michalak. “We have held productive discussions with our Cambodian counterparts and sought ways for U.S. companies to support Cambodia’s economic development. The Council is keen to use its expertise and partnerships to promote international investment, improve public policy engagement, and foster competitive Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). This year’s record-breaking number of 14 participating companies reinforces the Council’s and our members’ strong faith in Cambodia’s economic potential.”
 
“Cambodia is among the fastest growing markets in the region and we see high potential of growth in the country, especially with regards to healthcare and power development,” said Dararith Lim of GE.  “Over the years, we have been working closely with Council to deliver tangible results to support Cambodia and we are committed to accelerate this momentum in 2017. In order to realize this goal, GE will continue to push for stronger localization and focus more on projects that could help address the national issues while significantly enhancing the lives of local people.”
 
The delegation met with Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce Ok Boung, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng, Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem, Minister of Labor and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng, Minister of Post and Telecommunications Tram Iv Tak, Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia Sok Chenda Sophea, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia Neav Chanthana, and will meet with Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol, Minister of Industry and Handicrafts Cham Prasidh, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sokohn, and Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Vongsey Vissoth. The delegation also met with the U.S. diplomatic and economic presence in Cambodia – the U.S. Embassy team, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and AmCham Cambodia.
 
Companies participating in the mission include 3M, Chevron, Citi, Coca-Cola, ConocoPhillips, Dow, Ford, GE, Herbalife, Elanco, MasterCard, Microsoft, RMA Group, and Visa.

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For over 30 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's 150+ membership generates over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.



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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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