The intervention this week by Prime Minister Hun Sen in a series of labor disputes could please workers but upset investors.
Cambodia owes the US some $300 million, plus fees, in debt incurred during the Lon Nol regime of the 1970s.
Seventeen factories have cases against labor leaders, claiming the September strike was illegal.
Cambodia has repeatedly sought the elimination of $300 million in debt from the Lon Nol era, without success.
Cambodia stands to benefit from the growing interest from major powers like the US and China, but to do that, it must remain neutral.
The UN development goals aim at halving the world's poverty rate, promoting education and health and protecting the environment.
Obama said the US is focusing on economic trade and growth with Asean—a bloc of about 600 million people.
The US will provide $33.55 million in grant funds to reduce HIV and AIDS and prevent major diseases.
The two are expected to meet again early next month in another Asean meeting in Europe, as well as Hanoi.