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Cambodia’s international business chambers unite on collective agenda

Harrison White

Cambodia’s international business chambers recently met to discuss better relationships as a group as well as bilateral discussions to enhance private sector working groups that can better enhance the local business environment.

The meeting comes as Cambodia is looking to a renewed 2022 with its ultra-high vaccination rates and full reopening of the local economy including no quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers.

The cross-chamber event was organized by Paul Clements, Chairperson of the International Business Chamber and hosted by Dalton Wong, President of the Indonesian Chamber and was considered the largest head of international chambers gathering.

Paul Clements told Cambodia Investment Review that he was pleased with the international business chambers representation and collaboration in the community.

“We look forward of the use of joint resources and knowledge of the international chambers in working with the Royal Government and the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce to continue developing the business sectors of Cambodia,” Clements said.

“Now that the world is opening up we look forward to more international delegations visiting Cambodia for more investment and trade which all Chambers stated they would support,” he added.

Cambodia’s business community has a long history of working with business chambers to help facilitate that foreign national business chambers operating in Cambodia.

The business chambers assist overseas companies doing business in Cambodia, as well as to foreign-owned and managed businesses operating here.

Cambodia’s international business chambers find their collective voice

The participants involved in the meeting included; Anthony Galliano, President of American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, Tassilo Brinzer, Chairman of European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, Yogo Kanda, President of Japan Business Association Cambodia, Soreasmey Ke Bin, President of CCI France Cambodge

As well as, Ashley Irving, President of Australia Chamber of Commerce Cambodia, Mark Lee Yong-Man, Chairman of The Korean Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, Sandeep Majumdar, President of Indian Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia and Benilda Fernando, President of Philippine Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia.

The meeting also welcomed leaders from two of the newest chambers including IndoCham and PhilCham that were both warmly welcomed into the community.

Dalton Wong, President of IndoCam told Cambodia Investment Review that it was an honor to co-host the first gathering for such esteemed guests.

Adding, “I look forward to more of such activities to foster stronger bonds of friendship and greater collaboration between chambers, in the spirit of inclusiveness and for the benefit of our respective members”.

Cambodia currently has 13 international business chambers with varying levels of engagement and influence amongst the local business community.

The group meeting identified that regular face-to-face consultations would also be of assistance when international delegations come to Cambodia allowing for more inclusion of all Chambers to achieve a greater representation of nationalities and business sectors.

In addition, the group also agreed on better communication between the chambers through establishing a formal chamber messenger group to share and distribute ideas and relevant information.

Cambodia’s international business chambers welcome more Private Sector Working Groups

The chambers welcomed more Private Sector Working Groups to provide a reliable platform for the business community to raise and resolve problems with the Government of Cambodia.

Specifically working groups in the areas of technology and innovation that can assist with the ongoing development of Cambodia’s economy.

According to the IBC, the Cambodian Government first established a public-private working group in 1997 at the initiative of the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia to provide an efficient platform for consultation between the Government and the Private Sector.

Cambodia also has its own Chamber of Commerce (CCC), which provides an update on law and regulations, and business-related events for Cambodian nationals doing business.

The joint chambers highlighted collaboration with the CCC’s leadership to continuing developing Cambodia’s business environment.

Cambodia’s international business community remains ‘bullish’ on the local economy despite the recent GDP growth downgrade citing an ultra-fast vaccination drive and multiple bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to be implemented next year.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is forecasted to be 2.5% this year, down from the previous projection of over 4%, according to the government news outlet AKP.

The downgraded has been forecast as investors ‘wait and hold’ due to ongoing COVID border and business restriction causing uncertainty in Cambodia’s economy.

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