THE China Hong Kong & Macau Expatriate & Business Association of Cambodia consists mainly of corporate garment factory owners from China. The association seeks investors from China and introduces them to Cambodian people, according to association Vice-Chairman Tom Kimson, CEO of Phnom Penh-based Dynamic Scientific.
With about 70 corporate members, who run companies involved in garments, footwear, electronics, printing, paper, plastics, machinery, seafood processing, real estate and international exhibitions – the idea is to connect Chinese businessmen with Cambodians and provide support.
Established in March, 1998, by expatriates from China and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, the association is unique in that its founders were all businessmen from China who decided to promote Cambodia to members of the business communities in China.
“We promote exchange and visits of investors and prospective investors from China to Cambodia and we introduce them to the local people and also let them have a good picture of how Cambodia actually is, instead of just reading about it watching TV,” Kimson said.
“We aim to harmonise our people with local people,” said association Chairman Yum Sui Sang, who is also the Chairman and CEO of Union Commercial Bank, which opened another UCB Bank branch office adjacent to Olympic Stadium on November 17 (above).
“We give a lot to charity and we also bring two countries together – China and Cambodia,” said Mr. Yum.
“We help those remote schools where lack of resources and funding, and the students are poor.”
Another China-connected association is the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia – which has an even closer relationship with the Chinese embassy.
The association embraces what they call the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area – a region with a population of 1.9 billion people – as an important source of income for the future.
Cambodia’s clothing exports, especially to the United States and Europe were hard hit in 2009 by the financial crisis, dropping 21% compared to 2008.
The association credits Prime Minister Hun Sen with adjusting domestic and international economic policies – along with agricultural exports, infrastructure construction and foreign investment – to turning the situation around by increasing the exports from Cambodia to ASEAN and China by 37% between 2008 and 2009.
One of the association’s charitable works is donating to the Guang Hua School in the Virachey “Chinese Village” in the border area of Rattanakiri Province – money and clothing to teachers and students.
Cambodia is undoubtedly attractive as a manufacturing and export base for the members of this Hong Kong and Macau-connected association because for many years Hong Kong and Macau served as China’s “window to the world” thereby enhancing these businessmen.
Today, with every part of China involved in global trade these Chinese businessmen trained with the advantage of the freewheeling Hong Kong and Macau business spirit undoubtedly look to Cambodia as a new manufacturing and export base.
A key board member at the association is Luu Meng, owner of the Almond Hotel, President of the Cambodia Hotel Association, and entrepreneurial master chef who is leading the grand opening of the YI Sang Chinese Restaurant on the riverfront at the Tourist Information Center adjacent to Chaktomuk Theater this evening, with flute music by boy wonder Panhlauv.