Buon Sarakmony, Secretary of State for the Department of Commerce (second from left) and Wallis Yu (second from right), Director of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for Southeast Asia and Pacific Affairs during August 10 meeting. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Cambodia and the United States renewed their commitment to strengthen trade and investment cooperation on August 10, despite a number of challenges that need to be addressed between the two countries as the latter push for a renewed key trade preference scheme for developing countries.

This came during a bilateral meeting between Commerce Department Secretary of State Buon Sarakmony and a delegation from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) led by South Asia Affairs Director Wallis Yu. -East and Pacific, held at the Ministry of Commerce, according to a statement released by the ministry.

Sarakmony commented on the rapid growth rate of trade between the two countries in the first six months of 2022, despite the Covid-19.

According to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), bilateral trade during the January-June period reached $4.817 billion, up 51.75 percent year-on-year. Cambodian exports to the United States increased by 53.96% to $4.648 billion, and imports increased by 8.73% to $168.222 million. The Kingdom’s trade surplus with the United States increased by 56.40% to $4.480 billion.

The senior trade official was quoted as saying, “Cambodia has been constantly striving to make the business investment environment more attractive and conducive to international investors from different countries around the world.”

Yu thanked the Cambodian government and in particular the Ministry of Commerce for its interdepartmental coordination which she said has enabled the Kingdom to adopt US auto standards and thus become an “important market” for the US automotive sector, according to the report. communicated.

She also revealed that the US government is considering reauthorizing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and deciding on the conditions for countries to qualify as beneficiaries.

The GSP provides non-reciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment for certain products imported into the United States from designated beneficiary developing countries and territories, including Cambodia. However, the scheme expired on December 31, 2020 and has not yet been renewed.

Yu asked the Ministry of Commerce to update the USTR on information on trade and investment-related laws and regulations aimed at improving the investment climate and attracting large, long-term US investors to the market. Cambodian technology, such as Amazon. com Inc and Facebook’s parent company Meta Inc, the statement said.

Hong Vanak, director of international economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the United States is among the biggest buyers of Cambodian products, the bulk of which includes clothing, footwear and travel goods, as well as raw materials.

He highlighted a number of determinants of exports to the United States, namely: demand in the US market, quality and standards of buyers, appropriateness of prices and timeliness of communication.

In 2021, trade between the two countries totaled $7.82649 billion, up 40.4 percent from $5.57526 billion in 2020, according to the GDCE.