Phnom Penh, January 26, 2016: Landing in Cambodia for approximately 24 hours, John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State spared the time aside of meeting with the Cambodian government and political party leader to meet with the Cambodian NGO and youth leaders to learn and discuss about the Cambodian situations.
Dr. Tek Vannara, Executive Director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) and the representatives of other 9 organizations were invited for the meeting. The main topics for the dialogue were focused on the land reform, environment issue, sustainable energy options, and deforestation challenges, economic land concessions (ELCs), Mekong Mainstreaming Dam and Climate Change.
Taking the opportunity, the CSO group also suggested and call for more USA investors to invest in Cambodia regarding on all the mentioned issues.
“We called for more investment from the US because we believe the investors would have a better understanding and concerns more on the negative impacts to the villagers, such as Environmental Impact Assessment and the deforestation from ELC,” said Dr. Tek Vannara.
The meeting took place at Raffles Hotel Le Royal, and each participants managed to share the point of view on different scoops.
Kerry, at the same time, shared the positive view on the Cambodian economic growth.
According to the CNN, Kerry praised Cambodia’s “remarkable” growth and modernization and the trade relationship between the two countries.
“I think it’s quite remarkable that the United States is, in fact, Cambodia’s largest export market even though we have half the world between our countries,” Kerry said. “And we will continue to explore ways to deepen our trade and investment relationship, including by helping to tackle corruption and exploring ways to strengthen Cambodia’s legal institutions.