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French-Cambodian Business Forum underscores France’s economic interest in Cambodia

By Harrison White for the

De gauche à droite, Philippe Baudry, responsable du service économique de l’ambassade de France au Cambodge et au Laos, Arnaud Darc président des CCE de la France au Cambodge, Soreasmey Ke Bin, président de la CCI France Cambodge.

The French business community in Cambodia is preparing to showcase over 250 companies to French business owners and investors as the French government’s foreign policy calls for more bilateral trade and investment in the Indo-Pacific.

The two-day event organized by the French Cambodian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the French Foreign Trade Advisors will run from June 9 and 10 and is expected to attract around 100 French investors and business owners from ASEAN and France.

To read more about Cambodia’s 2022 economic outlook click here.

The forum will provide an opportunity for French companies established in the region to better understand the realities of the Cambodian market while being able to establish direct contacts with local decision-makers.

The event will also be attended by H.E Sok Chenda, Minister and Secretary-General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia and Mr. François Corbin, special representative of the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs for economic relations with ASEAN countries.

Cambodia is ready and open for investment
Speaking at a press conference before the forum, Mr. Arnaud Darc a well-known member of Cambodia’s French business community, commented that Cambodia was chosen for the forum due to its open borders after a strong vaccination drive.

He added that in addition to being physically open to investors the country was also, in his opinion, the most welcoming country in the region for investment and doing business in general.

“France was a cornerstone investor in Cambodia during the rebuilding of the country in the early 1990s building airports, hospitals, roads, and schools. In 2022, France is now more focused on soft infrastructure and human capacity development,” Mr. Darc said.

To read more about Cambodia’s FDI since 1994 click here.

Members of Cambodia’s press and business community ask questions about the 2022 French-Cambodian Business Forum.

French embassy representatives commented that increasing bilateral trade to Cambodia and the ASEAN region more generally was a foreign policy priority for the Emmanuel Macron government.

“We hope this forum provides the opportunity for Cambodia to highlight its favorable context for businesses, and present itself as an easy, competitive and efficient gateway for exporting to ASEAN and more generally to Asia and the world,” they added.

France promoting more investment in ASEAN
In a recent question and answers session Mr. François Corbin, who will attend the forum commented that France’s foreign policy in recent years has been to develop a strategy for the Indo-Pacific.

This strategy recognizes the growing importance of geopolitical, economic, environmental and maritime issues in this region, as well as the specific role of France, which has major territories and interests there. This strategy recognizes the central role of ASEAN, particularly in its economic component,” he said.

“I am convinced that the authorities of our country and our business community will therefore intensify their joint and synergistic approach to develop the mutual knowledge of the authorities, and of the business communities, between France and the ASEAN countries. I myself have been able to measure the very positive impact of business delegations accompanying ministerial visits. I will endeavor to develop others in the future,” he added.

Figures from the Ministry of Commerce show that bilateral trade between Cambodia and France was valued at around $456 million in 2020. Key exports for Cambodia included milled rice, textiles, footwear, travel goods and bicycles, while key imports included construction materials, electronics and pharmaceutical products.

To register for the event click here.

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