At the recently held CCCA networking event, B2B Cambodia spoke with Dr Ben Li, who is the Chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce – Cambodia Chapter and also the founder and Chairman of The Factory and Urban Village in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Dr. Ben Li is regarded as of Asia’s most influential and youngest entrepreneurs who has more than 15 years of global business experience. He studied law in the UK and he is also a Certified Chartered Accountant in Hong Kong.
Urban Village is one of the largest Hong Kong-standard condominium projects based in the Kingdom, while the Factory Phnom Penh is viewed as the biggest creative art hub in the capital and offers a mixed space comprising of co-working spaces, art exhibition studios, catering & entertainment services and more.
“At The Factory Phnom Penh, we mostly support local startups, artists and musicians,” said Dr Ben Li. “Its an international space and we support many local business chambers with events onsite but the main focus is startups and local artists but we have also started supporting sports, as well as offering property development (Urban Village).
On the opportunities in Cambodia, he added that Cambodia is seen as a great investment destination for foreigners. Some of the reasons are the ease of doing business in the Kingdom, as well as the ease of money transfers, the openness in conducting business and what he regards as good levels of business English for the region.
Cambodia’s Economic Recovery and Growth
Post-Covid, he feels that the country is seeing recovery in tourism and hospitality: “We might reach 6 million tourists again and the investment potential is massive. Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, Cambodia offers great returns,” added Dr. Ben Li.
He does admit that hiring the right workforce is a challenge as the market is so competitive.
For entrepreneurs his advice is to be ready for all challenges as they will come your way but that you have to be able to deal with them but it’s important to work with other companies and associations to grow business together and that joining networking events to find new clients and new ideas and suppliers is important in Phnom Penh.
For local entrepreneurs and businesses, the main advice is to explore the markets overseas and reach beyond Cambodia’s borders.