A delegation from the Port of Long Beach in California is in Phnom Penh seeking business opportunities.
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Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, the head of the delegation, yesterday discussed ways of strengthening ties between Cambodia and the United States at the Ministry of Commerce.
During his meeting with Mr Garcia, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak touted the country’s robust economy and the government’s policy to enhance competitiveness through internal reform, investor-friendly policies, modernising education and building new infrastructure.
He also highlighted the investment opportunities in the country’s coast.
“Cambodia has Sihanoukville which has great potential for investment. In addition, we have special economic zones and the government’s industrial development policy (IDP), which will turn Cambodia into a mixed production centre for exports,” Mr Sorasak said.
In response, Mr Garcia pledged to help promote the potential of Cambodia to the business community in Long Beach Port.
Mr Garcia’s trip to Cambodia marks the first time that a sitting Long Beach mayor has visited Cambodia. Long Beach has the largest concentration of Cambodians of any city outside of Cambodia.
“Long Beach and Cambodia are united by our culture and our people. We must work to strengthen that bond by increasing trade and tourism, and creating jobs for Long Beach,” Mr Garcia said in the statement.
Tracy Egoscue, Long Beach Harbor Commission president, said in the statement that the continued economic growth of Cambodia and Vietnam creates a strong potential for increasing trade through the Port of Long Beach.
“We are looking forward to building new alliances and strengthening existing relationships with our partners in Southeast Asia,” she added.
During his visit to the Kingdom, Mr Garcia also signed a memorandum of understanding to renew the sister city relationship between Long Beach and Phnom Penh.
The partnership was established in 1993, when both sides agreed to promote international goodwill, exchange ideas and improve trade relations between the cities and countries.
Monorom Neth, president of Long Beach-Phnom Penh Sister Cities chapter, said the organisation is honoured to welcome Mr Garcia to Cambodia.
“We commend Mayor Robert Garcia for making this historic trip and for his commitment to our Cambodian community. We are excited to strengthen the bond among our communities,” he said
The United States is one of Cambodia’s biggest trading partners, accounting for more than 20 percent of the country’s total exports.
The total value of exported goods in 2018 reached $11.2 billion, while imports were valued at $13.7 billion, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.