The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham HK) led an 18-member delegation of senior regional and global executives from the Apparel and Footwear industry to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on August 9-10, 2015. AmCham HK coordinated closely with the leadership of AmCham Cambodia in setting up a full agenda of meetings.
AmCham HK delegation was cordially received by senior government officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia including H.E.Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Office of the Council of Ministers; H.E. Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce; and H.E. Sok Chenda Sophea, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
In addition, the delegation received in-depth briefings from Ambassador William E. Todd, Deputy Chief of Mission Julie Chung, and staffers from the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, as well as representatives from the International Labor Organization (ILO) Better Factories Cambodia (BFC), and Cambodia Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA). The delegation had a total of 8 meetings including a session with journalists from the Cambodia Daily and Khmer Times.
Led by the Apparel & Footwear Committee, one of the most influential committees of AmCham HK, the delegation represented some of the world’s largest apparel and footwear brands. Most Hong Kong-based sourcing executives have responsibilities for Asia or global sourcing and production.
The trip was principally a fact-finding mission to learn more about Cambodia and its strategy to support the apparel and footwear sector over the next five years. In the context of global trade – noting the challenges from a completed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as other trade agreements and ongoing negotiations – the delegation had candid discussions with government officials and other interlocutors on the potential impact these trade developments may have upon the region from the global procurement perspective. Robust and sustainable infrastructure, both hardware and software, is essential in capacity building enabling “Brand Cambodia” to stay competitive.
Key U.S. and international apparel and footwear brands account for approximately 70% of Cambodia’s total exports, a clear indication of its importance to the country’s overall economy. The delegation urged Cambodia to continue building on its significant strengths, as well as to encourage the young generation to pursue education and skills in technical and engineering fields to meet future employment needs.
Emphasizing that their businesses have grown in tandem with the substantial industrial growth in the country, the brands have expressed their keen interest to see this continue, with a goal of seeing the overall quality and size of the industries to move to the next level of sustainable development. AmCham HK and the delegation shared their interest in seeing the Cambodian Government achieve long-term development with a win-win for all stakeholders. AmCham HK is planning the next Cambodia delegation trip to pursue more in-depth discussions with specific government officials on how a stronger apparel and footwear industry fits best with the government’s long-term industrial development plans.
Four photographs taken from the Cambodia Delegation are attached below.
Photo 1: AmCham HK Delegation meeting with HE Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce.
Photo 2: AmCham HK Delegation meeting with HE Sok Chenda Sophea, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
Photo 3: AmCham HK Delegation Group Photo with HE Sok Chenda Sophea, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
Photo 4: AmCham HK Delegation Leaders with HE Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Office of the Council of Ministers and Staffers.
For inquiries, please contact Ms. Ming-Lai Cheung, Director, Government Relations and Public Affairs, by phone: (852) 2530 6927, or by email: [email protected].
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The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham HK) is one of the largest American Chambers outside the United States, the largest international chamber in Hong Kong, and one of the most dynamic and influential international business organizations in the Asia Pacific region.
AmCham HK is active in advocacy facilitating dialogue between businesses and the Hong Kong, Mainland China (national and regional), United States and selected Asian governments providing input and feedback on public policy, business and trade issues that impact the Asia Pacific region.