Banking pioneer Pung Kheav Se was appointed yesterday as president of the Association of Khmer-Chinese in Cambodia, succeeding Duong Chhiv, who retired after holding the post for 16 years.
Kheav Se said during the ceremony that he would use his mandate to promote Chinese language and culture in Cambodia, further strengthen the Cambodia-China relationship, and attract more Chinese investors to Cambodia.
“We will create two more units in the association, a commercial promotion office and a legal consulting office,” he said. “These units will facilitate the flow of investment information and arrange business matchmaking, and play a key role as a bridge for Chinese people in Cambodia.”
Kheav Se, a Cambodian of Chinese decent, fled Cambodia in the 1970s to Canada. He returned in 1991 to co-found what is now Canadia Bank, currently the second-largest commercial bank.
He is also the CEO of real estate developer Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC), whose multibillion-dollar projects include Diamond Island City and Chroy Changvar Satellite City in Phnom Penh.
The Association of Khmer-Chinese in Cambodia is a representative body for the estimated 700,000 Cambodians of Chinese extraction living in the Kingdom.
Xiong Bo, China’s Ambassador to Cambodia, who attended yesterday’s event, said the association plays a crucial role in unifying Cambodia’s Chinese community and contributes to the country’s socio-economic development.