The French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Cambodia (CCIFC) launched a new edition of the ‘Doing Business in Cambodia’ guide for the year 2023-2024 on September 28, 2023, at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh.
The launch event was presided over by the French Ambassador to Cambodia, Jacques Pellet, and the Chairman of CCIFC, Soreasmey Ke Bin. The guide book is currently available in French (‘Entreprendre au Cambodge 2023-2024’) and will soon be published in English.
Watch B2B Cambodia’s interview with Soreasmey Ke Bin, Chairman of CCIFC:
According to a press release issued by the CCIFC, the guide to ‘Doing Business in Cambodia’ is published every two years to provide French businessmen and entrepreneurs a tool to help establish themselves in the Kingdom.
“This second edition of the ‘Doing Business in Cambodia’ guide comes at a crucial moment for Cambodia, as we are witnessing a significant ministerial reshuffle and the promulgation of the new investment law,” said Ke Bin.
He added that while doing business in Cambodia remains comparatively easier than in most other countries in the region, it is still important to properly inform newcomers and those already present in the country about the opportunities and specificities of the Cambodian market, as well as the points of caution to consider for an investment.
Accordingly, the new edition of the guidebook provides an updated analysis of Cambodia’s economic sectors and the opportunities they offer.
The Guide’s Content
The guide is divided into several sections, starting with a general presentation of Cambodia that allows readers to gain an understanding of the country’s economic and cultural context, business environment and commercial opportunities.
The guide also highlights Cambodia’s position in international trade and the specific sectors that offer the most opportunities for French businesses, ranging from agriculture to tourism.
Local law firm, Sok Siphana & Associates, as well as Bolloré Logistics, Cambodia Airports, Clevereen, East-West Seed and Ucare Pharmacy, all made contributions to the writing of this guide.
Ke Bin explained that preparations for the latest edition of the guide actually began two years ago when CCIFC organised a major business forum that attracted 200 companies after the Kingdom officially reopened its borders and lifted all COVID-19 restrictions.
He described the guide as an introduction and shortcut to understanding Cambodia’s business ecosystem, including an overview of how business is done in the Kingdom and what priority sectors exist for inputs from French companies.
Why Should Foreign Investors Come To Cambodia?
According to Ke Bin, the system in Cambodia is quite free and open to accepting foreign investments in basically any sector of the country. He added that a significant proportion of Cambodian government officials can also speak French, making it much easier for French investors to communicate with the public sector.
Ke Bin stated that Cambodia currently has an uncertain market that requires investment in various sectors. He particularly highlighted that there have been numerous new malls seeking brands, particularly in the food and beverage sector, and other sectors such as agriculture, finance, and construction also remain important.
“I would say almost every sector is important at the moment,” Ke Bin emphasised.
Advice For First-Time Investors Coming To Cambodia
Ke Bin advised potential first-time foreign investors not to jump headfirst into starting a business in Cambodia. Rather, he stressed that investors must first visit the country multiple times, study the market, get more familiarised with the context and meet various individuals to assess whether the market is suitable for their services or products.
“Don’t think that just because you’re successful overseas that you will also be successful in Cambodia, entering the Cambodian market can be very easy, but to succeed can be tough,” said Ke Bin.
CCIFC was founded in 1998 to represent French entrepreneurs in Cambodia and promote economic exchange between the two countries. A member of the Union of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry Abroad, the Cambodian chamber has over 175 active members.
On October 21, 2023, CCIFC will organise the third edition of its French Market (‘Marché Français’) event, which aims to promote French culture within the Cambodian community even more. The previous edition of the event held in 2022 successfully attracted over 5,500 visitors and featured participation from fifty exhibitors.
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