US multinational General Electric plans to open an office in Phnom Penh this year, the latest sign that US business interest in Cambodia is on the rise, officials and analysts said Thursday.
Representatives from the US technology and services conglomerate were part of a delegation of US executives that met with senior Cambodian officials Wednesday, US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli said.
In addition to GE, which is one of the world’s largest companies, the delegation—sent by the Washington-based US-Asean Business Council—included representatives from ConocoPhillips, Oracle, Federal Express and ITT Defense, according to a statement issued by the group. GE’s interest in Cam-bodia is mostly focused on health sector equipment and machinery, said Mussomeli, who met with the delegation Wednesday.
The delegation also met with Minister of Posts and Telecommunications So Khun, Health Minister Nuth Sokhom, Kao Kim Hourn, secretary of state for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh.
Nuth Sokhom said the GE executives discussed the possibility of bringing diagnostic machinery and materials to Cambodia, whose health facilities were still lacking such equipment.
Bretton Sciaroni, president of the American Cambodian Business Association, said the GE executives also expressed interest in power plants during their visit.
Cambodia’s robust economic growth has paved the way for US firms’ growing interest in Cambodia, said Sciaroni, who noted that executives from the US Chamber of Commerce in Thailand had visited Phnom Penh last month.
Mussomeli said the delegation was the “most prestigious group” of US executives to visit Cambodia to date. “Cambodia is finally getting the attention it deserves,” he added.