In a bid to boost business, hundreds of companies from across the globe gathered in Phnom Penh for the 8th Cambodia Import-Export and One Province One Product (OPOP) Exhibition.
The four-day fair, which started on Sunday and winds down today (WED 18 December), attracted more than 320 companies from across 18 countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, Korea, the UK and France.
The aim of the event, which was hosted at Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre, was to showcase top quality, home-grown Cambodian and foreign products, as well as forge ties with importers. It also offered domestic and foreign import-export businesses the chance to expand their market and boost bilateral and multilateral trade promotions.
Spread over two halls, products on display ranged from food, coffee, clothes and textiles, electronics, industrial machinery and trading services. Items from Cambodia included wood carvings and jewellery from Kratie, bags from Svang Rieng, Kampong Chhnang Pottery and pineapples from Battambang.
The response from foreign companies attending the trade show was mixed, with yesterday’s rain affecting public attendance. Simte Lal travelled from Bangkok to showcase his collection of shoes, flip flops and slippers, Dudee.
It was the company’s first time in Phnom Penh and Lal had hoped to break into the shoe market in his neighbouring country. “It’s been good being here and interesting talking to people but the shoe market is already well established I’ve found,” he said, pointing to rows of predominantly women’s footwear, ranging from $3 to $25.
“When people compare the market price here with what we are charging, they see we are more expensive.”
Mark Chen, Deputy Manager at Striker in Vietnam, had been sent to the event to carry out research into the Cambodian market as well as host the stall exhibiting their range of rubber and synthetic sports balls.
“We wanted to come here to understand the market more,” he explained. “We know in many countries in South East Asia they play ball sports such as football and volleyball, and we want to know about Cambodia.”
He added that he expected the expo to cater for wholesalers more than just the general public. But he said feedback was positive and the trip had enabled him to spend time outside the expo exploring the market.
Prak Chenla is assistant manager at the Cambodian representative office of Japanese company, Fuji Electric. They supply electric and thermal energy efficient technology, such as transformers, power generators and vending machines. This was their first time at the fair.
Chenla said, “This has been really good and we’ve had a lot of interest. We wanted to show our products to a wider audience and this has been a good place to do that.”
As well as stands, the fair included a series of seminars, talks, distributer exchange events and investment forums.
The expo is open for the final day today (Wednesday 18th December) until 7.30pm. Entry is free. For more information, visit The Trade Promotion website.