Robert William Forden nominated as next US Ambassador to Cambodia

Harrison White

Robert William Forden has been nominated for the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia by the Biden administration in a national announcement outlining the leaders to serve as key leaders in his administration.

Robert W. Forden is an American diplomat who served as the United States’ Chargé d’affaires to China from 2020 to 2021. He previously served as the deputy chief of mission to the American Institute in Taiwan and the deputy chief of mission to the Embassy of the United States in Beijing.

Forden was born in Southern California in August 1959. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a postgraduate degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in international trade and Asian diplomatic history. Forden speaks Mandarin Chinese and Vietnamese.

Speaking to Cambodia Investment Review, US Embassy in Cambodia spokesperson Chad Roedemeier explained that with all U.S. ambassadors, Robert Forden must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before becoming the Ambassador-Designate.

“We refer you to the U.S. Senate for questions about the timing of confirmation hearings. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy will continue in his current role in Phnom Penh. He has been U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia since September 2019,” he added.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce requests GSP reinstatement

Cambodia is currently looking to further maximize on the record trade to the United States requesting the Kingdom’s largest buyer reinstate the currently expired Generalized System of Preferences.

Cambodia’s GSP status expired in December last year, with US lawmakers yet to reinstate the trade benefits means that Cambodia’s exports currently subject to “most favored nation” status tariffs.

Under the GSP, Cambodia was allowed duty-free on travel goods such as luggage, backpacks, handbags, and wallets – items that previously faced import duties of up around 20 percent – as well as preferential import taxes on other goods.

GSP renewal is conditioned on a range of criteria, including labor standards, human rights, and the rule of law. The delay in renewal is estimated to have resulted in extra taxed exports of around $1 billion.

To read more about the Cambodian and US Chamber of Commerce click here.

The Cambodian Chamber of Commerce has also confirmed its American counterpart the US Chamber of Commerce has accepted all three of its proposals and agreed to publicize the country’s potential to American investors and business owners.

The agreement was made after the Cambodian business community led a delegation to Washington during the recent US – ASEAN summit with the purpose to strengthen economic ties between the two nations.

AmCham marks record membership

The American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (AmCham) has hit a record membership number of 215 paid-up companies announcing the milestone at its monthly real-estate and construction industry night.

AmCham President Anthony Galliano spoke to the over 100 attendees at the Hard Rock Café in Phnom Penh stating the chamber has been growing at record levels with more American, international, and locally owned companies joining its ranks.

“AmCham has been recruiting new members at a record speed as well as retaining approximately 85% of its existing membership base through providing a combination of industry networking events, advocacy committees, and corporate social responsibility commitments,” Galliano said.

“The chamber just celebrated its 25th-anniversary last year and it took us 25 years to reach 100 members. It has taken us only one year more to reach 215,” he added.

To read more about the American Chamber of Commerce click here.

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