With the US-Cambodia relationship in the spotlight, VOA Khmer’s Neou Vannarin sat down for a comprehensive discussion on Wednesday with William A. Heidt, the American ambassador in Phnom Penh.
The US ambassador said Cambodia could consider joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a US-led trade pact that could open US markets further.
“If we can maintain a neutral stance and balance, we can gain from both sides,” says Chheang Vannarith, a lecturer in Asia-Pacific studies at Leeds University.
China also aims to boost the livelihood of Cambodians living in remote areas and provide scholarships for Cambodian university students.
The International Trade Union Confederation said that 166 million workers make up a “hidden workforce” earning trillions of dollars for big companies.
It is unclear exactly how Cambodia would benefit from the trade deal, which lowers tariffs on agricultural and industrial goods between its adherents.
About 70 percent of those fines have come from traffic checkpoints, according to the ministries of Interior and Finance.
A recent report from the International Trade Union Confederation reveals that 50 of the world’s largest companies depend on a “hidden workforce” to provide 94 percent of the labor from which they profit.
The main purpose of Kerry’s visit was to discuss an upcoming US-Asean meeting in California next month, which will include a lot of discussion on trade.
Hun Sen had asked that Cambodia be producing 1 million tons of rice for export by 2015, but the country is meeting only half that goal.
While the constitution calls for Cambodia to remain neutral in foreign affairs, Cambodia has stronger ties with China than it does with the US, due in part to China’s no-strings aid and investment in recent years.
While Cambodia is again expected to post a high annual growth rate of around 7 percent this year, it is starting to feel the pinch of a slowing global economy.