CCI France Cambodge held its first France Cambodia Business Forum on June 9-10 2022 which also included a French Tech Cambodge programme.
The Phnom Penh Post reported that the event was organised by the French Cambodian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFC) and the French Foreign Trade Advisors (CCE) Cambodia Section, with Francois Corbin, the French foreign ministry’s special representative for ASEAN economic relations in attendance.
Among the range of topics discussed was the Cambodian startup environment at the La French Tech APAC Gathering, but in total more than 200 companies were in attendance for the CFC event, including a large delegation of companies from France, as well as non-profits, NGOs and Cambodian government officials. The main goal was to promote French investment in Cambodia and explore opportunities across a number of sectors.
CCIFC president Soreasmey Ke Bin said before the event took place that the “reduction in regulatory hassles of entering and exiting Cambodia has made it easier for French businesses to conduct operations in the Kingdom, presenting a valuable chance to arm investors from the European country with knowledge about the Kingdom and prepare them to seek investment opportunities in sectors considered to have significant potential.”
In terms of numbers, the CFC France Cambodge Business Forum 2022 posted after the event:
- 219 participants attended
- 35 representatives of the royal government of Cambodia
- 22 lectures and 17 pitches from foreign companies
- 3 related events with La French Tech Cambodge Phnom Penh, OSCI and Club VIE Cambodia
EuroCham’s Market Research Analyst Félix Botineau gave a speech on “The Cambodian Consumer: Profile and Tendencies” in which he said that the “typical Cambodian consumer is changing as demand for international products rise, creating opportunities in the food, fashion, and luxury sectors while highlighting dairy products, baby food, and ready-to-eat meals as high-growth categories.
In addition, he mentioned that cooking appliances such as microwaves, toasters, and coffee makers represent brand new categories for investors to focus on in Cambodia.
Ke Bin also said of the La French Tech Cambodge Phnom Penh event that it brought together a dozen French startups and companies from ASEAN (Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos) and the whole of the Cambodian tech ecosystem.
Among the attendees were members of the Royal Government of Cambodia including H.E. Dr Chea Vandeth, Minister of Post and Telecom, Sopheap Seng, President of the Cambodian Academy of Digital Technology, and members of the private sector, startups, telcos, and investors..
CCIFC’s membership comprises 150 French companies, and after a survey was held, revealed that more than 500 French firms are doing business in Cambodia.
The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia reported that trade between Cambodia and France in the first third of 2022 was valued at $176.720 million, up by 42.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.
In the same period, Cambodian exports to France reached $133.492 million, up by 37.4 per cent year-on-year, while imports stood at $43.228 million, rising by 59.3 per cent.
Cambodia attracting big foreign tech investments
During the same period of the France Cambodia Business Forum 2022, it was announced that increased investments from large and high-tech international companies are expected to invest in the Kingdom.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng said that “Investors in many large companies in North America and Europe have promised to find a suitable opportunity to invest in Cambodia.”
The European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (EuroCham) and the Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology (CADT) also signed an agreement to support European digital and tech companies in Cambodia. They also aim to provide services and training to strengthen the country’s digital transformation reported the Cambodia Investment Review.
- EuroCham will provide 50 hours of training for CADT students
- The Chamber will host networking events, SME training workshops, and conferences
- An online training academy will be added to the EuroCham website,
- Organise careers fairs
- IDG assist EuroCham in offering advice on e-governance in Cambodia from a private sector perspective
- CADT’s Institute of Digital Research and Innovation (IDRI) will partner with EuroCham to host breakfast talks on digital initiatives and establish a private-sector advisory board to research potential future projects.