Phnom Penh has been the capital of Cambodia since the days of French colonization. It is a vibrant, bustling city nestled majestically on the banks of three mighty rivers, and has grown to become an economic and cultural center for all of Cambodia. Long Beach is home to approximately 20,000 Cambodian Americans, the largest Cambodian population outside of Southeast Asia. The Long Beach/Phnom Penh relationship was initiated in October of 1993, two years after the Paris Peace Accords officially ended the Cambodian-Vietnamese War. Long Beach was chosen because the largest Cambodian population was located there. Cambodia at that time was returning to free and fair elections, poised for economic development.
- To promote and expand the effective and mutually beneficial cooperation between the people of Long Beach and the people of Phnom Penh.
- To promote international goodwill and understanding and improved trade relations between the two cities and their respective nations by the exchange of people, ideas, and information in a wide variety of economic, social, cultural, educational, municipal, environmental, professional, technical, youth and other projects.
- To foster and encourage charitable, scientific, trade and commerce, literary and educational activities between the two cities.
- To preserve ancient fine arts and cultural traditions, i.e. silk weaving, court and fold dance, pin peat music, sculpture, etc., in both cities that were all but destroyed during the years of war.
Benefits for Long Beach
- An opportunity for increased business through the Port of Long Beach, particularly with MFN (Most Favored Nation) status.
- Export areas include construction, agricultural equipment, automotive parts, and pharmaceuticals.
- A foothold in a new market in Southeast Asia for West Coast goods and services.
- An opportunity for investment in a growing and developing environment.
- A source of new products.
- An opportunity for Long Beach faculty and students to study, teach and exchange information.
Benefits for Phnom Penh
- International friendship to support the city’s desire to improve its infrastructure.
- A new marketplace to promote growing business in tourism and natural resource development.
- Support for revival of artistic development and cultural preservation.
- An opportunity to rebuild educational curriculum at all levels and have student exchange programs.