Tonkin Garden Restaurant celebrates successful partnerships between Vietnam and Cambodia with a fusion night

Tom Starkey

Tonkin Garden Restaurant hosted a unique Vietnamese-Khmer fusion event aimed at celebrating collaborations in business, food and creative arts between the two countries as well as showcasing Cambodia’s re-emerging F&B sector.

The event was attended by many private sector actors, which were entertained by a band that included traditional Vietnamese and Cambodian instruments, played by artists from both neighboring states.

To read more about Cambodia showcasing its cuisine at the Davos World Economic Forum click here.

Tonkin Restaurant owner, Nguyen Hong Vinh, said he is proud to be hosting an event like this, which he has been unable to do for a long time following the COVID pandemic.

“It’s great to be able to bring together people from our two great countries to share our cultures and celebrate the collaborations we have made,” Nguyen Hong Vinh said.

“The COVID pandemic had a big impact on multiple sectors, especially hospitality, so it is befitting that we can mark our resurgence out of the COVID era by holding a night of entertainment and rekindling the bonds within our many varied ASEAN cultures,” he added.

Great networking opportunities for the private sector

Representing S.E.C Solar Energy Company, General Manager Martin Bandalan, said that this event offers great networking opportunities for the private sector.

“This event has provided fertile ground for discussions and potential collaborations between many countries in the ASEAN region while celebrating our cultural differences and also our similarities,” Martin Bandalan said.

“As someone engaged in a growing renewable energy sector in Cambodia, events like these allow for dialogue between local and foreign actors and create mutually beneficial opportunities,” he added.

Josh Downs, CFO of Next Step International – a recruitment company connecting international talent with employers in Cambodia – agreed and added, events like these are important for us to catch up not only with our regional clients but also to make new connections.

Tonkin Restaurant owner, Nguyen Hong Vinh (L) with Vietnamese and Khmer musicians.

“There is a lot of mobility within the workforce across ASEAN countries, which presents lots of opportunities for companies looking for talent. We also often find companies considering setting up or expanding into Cambodia. Next Step can facilitate these moves from a human resources and business advisory perspective, and this event offers us a great opportunity to network and share our services,” he said.

“The post-COVID era will see a resumption of Cambodia’s impressive economic growth, creating a plethora of opportunities and we are well positioned to support companies doing business in Cambodia to meet the demands that come with its rapid development,” he added.

A good demand, especially post-Covid

In charge of entertainment on the night, Jonathon Bunthoeun – owner of Hope Music Center which features artists from both Cambodia and Vietnam – said he is pleased to organize entertainment at this collaborative event.

“We have some of our artists featuring from Vietnam, such as Thao Chinh, who played the traditional Dan Bau, who played alongside Khmer pianists and guitar players. Being able to showcase a fusion of musical talent between Khmer and Vietnamese puts on a great show for our guests but further demonstrates how we successfully work together not only in business but also in our creativity,” he said.

“We find a good demand, especially post-covid, from high-class customers from businesses, banking, and garment sectors both in Vietnam and Cambodia,” he added.

Also in attendance were other collaborative businesses, including Cambodian Vietnamese Insurance (CVI), evidencing already strong business bonds between the two countries. 

The owner finished that he hopes to host more of these events going forward to bring together more actors and create lasting partnerships between Vietnam & Cambodia going forward.

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