Six major American corporations have committed to attracting US investment in Cambodia’s public infrastructure and transportation sectors to keep pace with the Kingdom’s socio-economic growth.

The promise was made during a February 27 working meeting between a delegation from the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) and Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol.

The corporations included ConocoPhillips, Ford, RMA Group, Pfizer, Visa and Vriens & Partners.

Chanthol said work aimed at strengthening and expanding cooperation between public and private institutions, especially in these sectors, was discussed in depth.

“The US-ABC seeks to explore more trade and investment opportunities in Asia to strengthen and expand economic and trade cooperation in the future. In particular, it aims to support the government’s efforts to drive the post-pandemic recovery of the region. The meeting showed the intention of the American business community to commit to building the capacity of the Kingdom’s human resources,” he added.

He said the development of transport infrastructure and logistics remains the main strategy of the Cambodian government, as it would promote economic growth.

“Examples of this development include the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway and the [proposed] Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway project, which will begin construction in mid-2023. Studies are currently being carried out for a Phnom Penh-Siem Reap Expressway project, as well as high-speed upgrades for the Kingdom’s rail network,” he added.

Chanthol also discussed proposals for a canal which would connect the Basaac river with the Kampot seaport, as it would facilitate the water-borne transport of manufactured goods.

“We are searching for a development partner who can help us make this project a reality,” he said.

He suggested that the US-ABC examine the possibility of sending specialists to share their knowledge and experience with ministry officials.

Michael Michalak, US-ABC regional managing director, praised Cambodia’s progress in all areas, especially transport infrastructure.

As a representative of the six corporations, he committed to encouraging more US investment in the Kingdom, as well as the sharing of new knowledge and technologies that would boost the local economy.

On February 27, Prime Minister Hun Sen also announced that Cambodia intends to seek international investors for several large infrastructure projects, including high-speed rail, sky trains and subways.