General News Details

Press Release: Cambodia and US governments recently discussed possibility of signing a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT)

Publish Date: 14-Mar-2016

Phnom Penh: The Cambodian and US governments have recently engaged in discussions about the possibility of signing a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). 

The issue was raised when US Secretary of State John Kerry was here in Phnom Penh in January, and subsequently when a delegation from the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office visited the Kingdom.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (AmCham) encourages the Royal Government to respond positively to these expressions of interest. AmCham believes that Cambodia, with its free market economy, is well positioned to conclude a BIT with the US. Cambodia already has many of the elements in place, which would be included in a BIT.

In past discussions with officials of the Royal Government, some concern was voiced about the issue of the “pre-establishment” (i.e., market access) components of the U.S. model BIT.  However, Cambodia has few restrictions on foreign investment entry and has agreed to a similar approach in its ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement and its BIT with Japan. 

          There are a number of benefits for Cambodia to concluding a BIT with the US, including:

  • BITs are powerful tools to signal an open, transparent, predictable investment climate that is welcoming to investors.  The U.S. business community places high value on BITs.
  • Based on Cambodia’s existing investment policy, Amcham believes that a high-standard BIT between Cambodia and the United States may be achievable and may significantly benefit both economies. 
  • If Cambodia can conclude a BIT with the U.S., it would signify Cambodia’s ability and willingness to agree to a high-standard international agreement.
  • The investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is based on the 2012 model BIT.  This investment chapter mirrors the scope and the definition of “pre-establishment” in the BIT.  

Mr. Bretton Sciaroni,

Chairman,

AmCham Cambodia

Tel: 855-(23)-210-225

Email: [email protected]