USTR - USTR Schwab Visits Cambodia To Hold First Ministerial Meeting Under Trade And Investment Framework Agreement
Office of the United States Trade Representative

 

USTR Schwab Visits Cambodia To Hold First Ministerial Meeting Under Trade And Investment Framework Agreement
11/21/2007
 

 

Washington, D.C. - United States Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab met with Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh today in Cambodia to discuss ways to broaden and deepen bilateral trade and investment ties between the two countries. The visit is the first to the country by a U.S. Trade Representative and included a bilateral meeting under the U.S.-Cambodia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).  Under the TIFA dialogue, Ambassador Schwab and Minister Prasidh discussed Cambodia’s recent strong economic growth, its domestic reform agenda, and implementation of legal and trade reforms committed to under Cambodia’s 2004 accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

Cambodia is working hard to put the right policies in place to support an open and welcoming environment for trade and investment,” said Ambassador Schwab.  “There has been real progress on the ground.  We will continue to work together to build momentum to sustain these reform efforts.”

The two officials reviewed Cambodia’s current efforts to improve trade facilitation, protect intellectual property rights and enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of Cambodia’s investment climate.  Discussions focused on marking the progress Cambodia is making in meeting the benchmarks for implementation of WTO-consistent trade practices, as well as highlighting areas where additional work remains to be done.  The two countries agreed upon a plan of action under the TIFA earlier this year, which will add momentum for trade-related reforms within Cambodia

The two ministers also discussed their mutual interest in a successful conclusion to the WTO Doha negotiations and the instrumental role that Cambodia can play as a least developed country (LDC) in contributing to that outcome.

Background

Total two way goods trade between the United States and Cambodia amounted to $1.95 billion dollars in the year to date through September 2007 and totaled $2.2 billion in 2006.  U.S. foreign direct investment in Cambodia is approximately $1million.  Primary U.S. exports include vehicles and machinery.  The United States is Cambodia’s largest export market accounting for $1.85 billion worth of goods year to date through September 2007.  Cambodia’s primary exports to the United States are knit and woven apparel.  Cambodia joined the WTO in 2004 as a least developed country (LDC) and agreed as part of its accession to implement WTO-consistent trading rules over a five-year transition period.  The U.S. - Cambodia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, signed in 2006, is the primary bilateral dialogue between the two governments to discuss implementation of these commitments and other trade and investment related issues.

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