US ambassador to Cambodia W Patrick Murphy emphasised the growing presence of American companies investing in Cambodia.

He stressed the necessity for an improved investment climate through enhanced infrastructure across relevant sectors to bolster competitiveness.

Speaking at the Digital Economy Forum in Siem Reap province on August 22, Murphy responded to Cambodian desire for increased US investment.

The ambassador highlighted the need for additional support networks, including efficient transportation links. He also underscored the appeal of Cambodia’s cost-competitive labor market, yet pinpointed the persistently high electricity prices as a concern. Addressing legal considerations, he advocated for an impartial court system capable of safeguarding investments in disputes.

US investors also seek an environment free from corruption, he added, while expressing confidence in Cambodia’s ongoing efforts to address this concern and underlining its significance within the bilateral relationship.

He confirmed that Washington remains committed to fostering strong trade ties, facilitating training and skill development for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and women as well as supporting the preservation of Cambodia’s cultural heritage.

Hong Vanak, an economics researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), anticipated improved relations under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Manet.

Noting historical trade patterns, Vanak echoed Murphy’s assessment of the US as a key market for Cambodian exports, including textile, garment, footwear, bags, travel goods, and bicycles. He highlighted Manet’s education in the US and previous positive ASEAN summit engagements as foundations for strengthened ties with the new administration.

A recent report from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) showed a nearly 10 per cent year-on-year decrease, with a bilateral trade volume of $5.3 billion recorded in the first seven months of 2023.