The French and German chambers of commerce have both merged into the larger European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia in order to gain combined strength and be more effective as an interface between European business and the Cambodian government.
The agreement is set to be formalised today at Eurocham’s annual general meeting at the Sofitel, when a new 13-member board will be elected.
Eurocham Chairman Dominique Catry said the net effect would be a better dialogue with the Cambodian government.
“Our main task is advocacy and we want to bring to the government the difficulties European business people face.”
The merger combines the 143 members of the French Cambodia Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (CCFC) and the 22 members of the German Business Group (ADW), with existing Eurocham members to bring in total more than 200 members, according to Catry.
Catry said the British Chamber of Commerce chose not to be included in the merger with Eurocham because they felt the additional fees would be too much to ask of their 100 members.
Eurocham membership costs $640 per corporate membership each year and $370 for individuals.
British chamber members, however, are welcome to join Eurocham on a voluntary basis, Catry said.
Both the French Chamber president Eric Mousset and the German Chamber president Tassilo Brinzer said the move to merge with Eurocham was popular with their members.
“The last vote we had with the French chamber was unanimously favourable to this merger,” Mousset said. Brinzer said the decision had reached a consensus at the German chamber also.
Jean-François Cautain, the European Union’s ambassador in Cambodia, said he trusts Eurocham Cambodia will be able to develop into a strong organisation.
“To this end, an inclusive approach and the support of all EU Member States is highly desirable and necessary,” he said.