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Plan for EU-ASEAN summit

Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh on Wednesday, in a meeting with the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, called on delegates to host an EU-ASEAN business summit next year, according to Eurocham members who were present.

The summit is expected to focus on enhancing business strategies to further develop ties between Cambodia and European countries, said Eurocham vice president and managing director of Sterling Project Management Thomas Sterling.

“The whole point of the summit is to produce a strategic report to provide an outline for business in the country over the next 10 to 15 years, and hopefully attract further investment in the Kingdom.”

While different import and export rules apply to Europe throughout ASEAN, Cambodia is fortunate to have the “Everything but Arms” quota, he said, which allows for duty-free imports from Least

Developed Countries. Sterling added that the government is keen for Eurocham to have a leading role in the conference, slated for April 2012, due to most members’ extensive experience doing business in the country.

“The next step is now to sit down and start planning, which includes raising funds,” Sterling said, adding that investor interest in Cambodia is evident from the IBC seminar held in Phnom Penh this week.

The conference, which would be the first of its kind in the Kingdom, is set to coincide with the start of Cambodia’s year-long tenure as chair of the ASEAN committee. Other Eurocham members also welcomed the conference.  

“It will be a significant showcase of Cambodian ASEAN leadership and an opportunity to show the rest of the world the benefits of investing here,” Eurocham delegate and CBRE country manager Daniel Parkes told the Post yesterday.

Officials from the Ministry of Commerce yesterday could not be reached for comment.

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