In a move welcomed by the Victorian Government, the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has launched its inaugural liaison office in Melbourne, Australia. The strategic decision is anticipated to further facilitate bilateral trade and investment, offering businesses a direct line to potential partnerships in Cambodia under the framework of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
“The establishment of CCC liaison office in Australia assist to expand bilateral relations in trade and the private sector, as well as facilitate connection and communication between Cambodia and Australia as they implement the RCEP agreement,” CCC Vice President Lim Heng stated.
He further noted that the new office would enhance relations between the CCC and the Australian Chamber of Commerce, boosting the CCC’s presence abroad. Previously, the CCC established offices in Japan and Canada, intending to showcase Cambodia’s investment potential and cultural charm.
More media campaigns needed
Speaking to Cambodia Investment Review the Victorian Government welcomed the prospect of increased business relations with Cambodia. An official spokesperson asserted, “Potential investors can connect directly with the Victorian Government to find out about investment opportunities through our global network of offices.”
Australia has shown keen interest in importing materials and food from Cambodia, notably nine agricultural products such as avocados, peppers, sesame seeds, sweet potatoes, cashew nuts, palm sugar, and dried banana slices.
A roundtable discussion was held last year by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), where the dialogue centered on the challenges and opportunities faced by Australian investors in Cambodia. Harrison White, Founder and CEO of CIR Media, expressed the necessity for government agencies to invest more in data and provide timely and fair business and investment news to attract potential investors.
“Many Australians are unaware of the fantastic opportunities there are in Cambodia – and the Mekong region more broadly – due to the lack of freely and easily available information in the market. Both governments should better invest in critical data and media marketing campaigns to address this,” White added.
Both nations forging closer ties
Trade between the two nations has been growing steadily. According to DFAT, total two-way goods trade with Cambodia in 2020 was valued at $432.4 million, an increase of 21.6% compared to 2019. Australian goods exports to Cambodia in 2020 were valued at $121.4 million, up by 43.5% on 2019.
In addition the startup communities in both countries have also been forging closer ties, with a recent focus on establishing a robust digital trade network. The Gold Coast Innovation Hub (GC Hub) in Australia has positioned itself as a gateway for Cambodian firms, fostering further cooperation in emerging technologies.
Both Australia and Cambodia are part of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and are negotiating parties to the RCEP. These liaison offices of the CCC are anticipated to play a significant role in propelling these collaborations forward.
Potential investors can connect directly with the Victorian Government to find out about investment opportunities through our global network of offices. Contact Laura Burke, Senior Regional Manager, Southeast Asia.
For more information: https://global.vic.gov.au/meet-our-global-team/danni-jarrett#laura-burke