U.S., Cambodia To Explore Possibility of Investment Treaty

Cambodia and the U.S have agreed to begin exploratory discussions on a potential bilateral investment treaty (BIT).

This was announced following a meeting in Siem Reap between Ambassador Mr. Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, and Cambodian Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce H.E. Cham Prasidh, who is also presiding over ministerial meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this week, a U.S. Embassy’s press release said yesterday.

Experts in the U.S.and Cambodia will now discuss our respective investment policies and investment agreements to determine key similarities and differences, with an eye to sharing approaches and opening further discussions based on the U.S. model text for bilateral investment treaties, it underlined.

“A bilateral investment treaty between the U.S. and Cambodia would encourage investment by improving investment climates, promoting market-based economic reforms, and strengthening the rule of law,” said Ambassador Kirk.

“Our decision to explore this possibility highlights progress made by Cambodia in fostering a policy environment that treats private investment in an open, transparent, and non-discriminatory way”, he pointed out.

A bilateral investment treaty provides binding legal rules regarding one country’s treatment of investors from another country. The U.S. BITs on the basis of a high-standard model text that provides investors with improved market access, protections from discriminatory, expropriatory, or otherwise harmful government treatment, and a mechanism to pursue binding international arbitration for breaches of the treaty.

The U.S. has more than 40 BITs in force with countries around the world, the press release said.

According to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), in the first semester of this year, Cambodia attracted investment projects worth US$5.3 million from the U.S. among the total investment projects of US$692 million.

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