The United States and Cambodia have announced an agreement to begin discussions of a potential bilateral investment treaty (“BIT”) between the two countries. According to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, a BIT would “encourage investment by improving investment climates, promoting market-based economic reforms, and strengthening the rule of law.”

The United States and Cambodia are expected to analyze and discuss key similarities and differences in their investment policies and investment agreements and subsequently to share approaches and have discussions based on the U.S. model text for BITs. The United States is Cambodia’s main trading partner. According to Cambodian Economic Minister Cham Prasidh, Cambodia is seeking more investment and trade with the U.S. As noted by Ambassador Kirk, “our decision to explore this possibility highlights progress made by Cambodia in fostering a policy environment that treats private investment in an open, transparent, and non-discriminatory way.”