October 6, 2015
Your Excellency Dr. Thong Khon, Your ExcellencyBun Tharith Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning!
This is an exciting day to be in Siem Reap. I am honored to be here today to celebrate the opening of CAMFOOD 2015. What better way to connect people than through food, flavors, hospitality, and tourism. I want to express my congratulations to Cambodia and to the organizers of CAMFOOD 2015 on the great success of this international trade show. What a testament to the impressive growth of Cambodia’s tourism and hospitality sectors. I would also like to note the Minister of Tourism’s tireless efforts to promote these sectors which are growing and will only continue to grow in the future.
The increasing demand for an ever more diverse variety of quality food and beverages by Cambodians and foreign visitors alike is a tribute to the extraordinary development of Cambodia’s economy and tourism sector. It is also great to see renowned Cambodian Chef Luu Meng here today. I’m sure you’ve all tasted his wonderful cuisine. Having been named Asia’s top chef and now working to help expand tourism, there couldn’t be a better ambassador for Cambodia’s tourism industry. As Chef Meng just mentioned, it is important to nurture the skills-based jobs that the hospitality and tourism sectors offer to the youth of Cambodia. That is why the U.S. is happy to host a young chefs cooking competition at CAMFOOD.
We also see many chefs here today in white coats representing the Chefs Association of Cambodia. I would like to ask them to stand so we can applaud their efforts to mentor the next generation of chefs and entrepreneurs.
International trade fairs such as CAMFOOD play a vital role in promoting the image of Cambodia around the world. Therefore, I’m so pleased to see representation from so many international brands. While I’m here to promote the USA pavilion and the great products offered, on behalf of all international brands, we recognize Cambodia’s market and trade potential.
I am excited to see such a large delegation of U.S. producers and distributers in the U.S.A. Pavilion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has worked hard to sponsor participation from exhibitors such as the U.S. Poultry and Egg Council, the U.S. Meat Export Federation, and the Washington Apple Commission. In addition, I’m looking forward to meeting with the exhibitors from my home state of California, including the California Table Grape Commission and Gallo Wines.
Cambodia’s own food industry is providing a variety of quality local products to the tourist industry while contributing to the local economy and livelihoods. Cambodia’s food industry continues to grow and the U.S. is happy to partner in this growth through our economic and agriculture sector initiatives.
As Cambodia integrates further into the ASEAN Economic Community, I know there will be even greater opportunities for expansion in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Cambodia, both in its regional context as well as in the global market, has much to offer. On behalf of the U.S. government, I wanted to offer our partnership and support Cambodia’s continued economic growth in these and other sectors.
Again, I want to extend my warmest congratulations to Cambodia on the opening of CAMFOOD 2015.