The American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia has formally announced its newly elected board for 2023, following the Annual General Meeting. The members voted for six new and re-elected board positions out of a pool of 20 candidates, which is the highest number of candidates the chamber has ever received.
During the AGM, the chamber also reported that its membership had doubled, and its revenue had grown by 122% in the past two years, with reported revenue of approximately $300,000 in 2022 alone.
The newly elected board comprises six members, namely:
- Visa Worldwide (Cambodia) – Ivana Tranchini, Country Manager
- Grow4Growth Consultant – Kim Tol Tan, Chief Executive Officer
- DFDL (Cambodia) – Davy Kong, Co-Head of Real Estate and Construction
- Mango Tango Asia (Cambodia) – Christopher McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer
- Tilleke & Gibbins (Cambodia) – Jay Cohen, Partner & Director
- Realestate.com.kh – Thomas O’Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer
They will join the existing board of 11 members, which also includes Casey Barnett, President of CamEd Business School, Zhiger Atchabarov, Chief Operating Officer at ABA Bank, Devin Barta, Country Manager of AHF Products, Joseph Telfer, Managing Partner and Founder at DataU Academy, and Moniveark Sou, Managing Director at ChemDry Cambodia.
Speaking to Cambodia Investment Review newly elected board member Jay Cohen said: It is an honor to be elected to represent the business community in Cambodia, and I look forward to working with our members so that the American Chamber of Commerce can address their concerns and contribute positively to the business environment in Cambodia.
New board member Tom O’Sullivan said that Anthony and the board have done an amazing job over the last 12 months. “It was nice playing a small role in this from a real estate point of view. We were very innovative on the events side of things, as well as surfacing some data through surveys to help inform the market on real estate in Cambodia.”
“I am looking forward to being able to spread my wings a bit and add value wherever I can across all committees and most importantly add value to the members of AmCham,” he added.
Cambodia – The Kingdom of Opportunity
Anthony Galliano, the outgoing President of AmCham, praised the country as the “Kingdom of Opportunity” for the foreign community, many of whom have settled and started businesses in the country.
Galliano also outlined the recent achievements of AmCham in Cambodia, which include doubling its membership to 254 and reconnecting with fellow AmCham’s in the Asia Pacific region. He noted, “We were honored to represent Cambodia in dialogue with the Executive and Legislative branches of the United States government.”
Galliano reported that AmCham’s financial position is the strongest in its history, with revenues increasing by 80% in 2022 and a 122% increase in the past two years. He said, “Our capital base is as strong as ever, and our cash position highest in our history for a yearend, despite our highest spend ever on events.”
The Chamber has launched the tagline “Cambodia is the Asian Tiger of the 21st Century” to promote investment in the country. Galliano stated, “We have been promoting Cambodia’s many opportunities to foreign investors through media articles, videos, and presentations.”
AmCham has eight active advocacy committees, which have increased from five in 2022. The committees cover various sectors such as tax, real estate and construction, education, information and communication technology, corporate social responsibility, law, women, and beer and spirits. Galliano said, “We are proud to work with these committees to support our members and promote business in Cambodia.”
Overall, AmCham has made significant strides in promoting Cambodia as an attractive destination for investment and providing support for its members to do business in the country. Galliano concluded, “We will continue to work hard to promote Cambodia and support the growth of our members and the business community as a whole.”
US brands remain the ‘gold standard’
Delivering the AGM’s keynote US Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. W. Patrick Murphy, said, “AmCham is a critically important mechanism, and while it is an independent entity, the partnership between the chamber and embassy is a value-added and provides mutual benefits as well as many shared objectives.”
“The embassy prioritizes supporting US businesses operating and looking to enter the Cambodian market – in turn increasing bilateral trade, which supports Cambodia’s economic development,” Ambassador Murphy continued. “The US is the Kingdom’s largest export market by a long way, even through supply chain issues during COVID, growing by over 40% last year, equating $12 billion for the Kingdom and over 1 million jobs.”
“US brands remain the gold standard, and as Cambodia moves up the value chain to become an upper middle-income country by 2030, US brands are becoming more obtainable,” Ambassador Murphy noted. “In addition, the recent action by the financial task force to remove Cambodia from the grey list for money laundering is very encouraging and the kind of progress we hope for.”
“A parting recommendation for AmCham – while the growth in membership has been fantastic and this equates to financial soundness for the organization, I do encourage careful assessment to make sure that there is a balance between quality and quantity,” Ambassador Murphy advised. “AmCham cannot lose its reputation for standards and really must insist that candidates for membership subscribe fully to the highest US and international standards on transparency, rule of law, and corruption.”
Record revenue in 2022
AmCham reported a substantial increase in revenue in 2022, with a total of $299,335 generated. This is a significant increase from the previous year’s revenue of $167,598, primarily driven by membership fees, which accounted for $174,835. However, the company also experienced a sharp rise in expenses at $313,257, resulting in an operating deficit of $13,922.
According to AmCham Treasurer Casey Barnett, “We are pleased to see such a significant increase in revenue, which is a testament to the value that our members see in our organization.”
The largest expense for AmCham in 2022 was staff costs, accounting for 29% of the total expenses. This was followed by industry and advocacy events, which accounted for 36% of the expenses. Other expenses, such as travel and meals, rent, and accounting and auditing expenses, made up a smaller percentage.
AmCham saw improvements in its efficiency measures, with a positive net event surplus of $6,680 in 2022, compared to a deficit of $13,621 in the previous year. The non-event operating cost per member increased slightly from $712 in 2021 to $870 in 2022, while the revenue per full-time staff improved from $41,900 in 2021 to $59,867 in 2022.
“We are pleased to see improvements in our efficiency measures, as this demonstrates our ability to manage our resources effectively,” says Barnett. “We remain committed to delivering value to our members and working to grow our organization in the years to come.”
The board will convene and announces its new president and executive committee at its next board meeting on March 10, 2023. Founded in 1996, AmCham is an independent non-profit membership organization comprised of both American and Cambodian companies who share a connection to American commerce.