Some 52 Malaysian representatives from 36 companies on an “SME Malaysia Trade Mission to Cambodia” are seeking investment and business potential in the Kingdom after both countries reopened their economies following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The investors, led by SME Association of Malaysia president Ding Hong Sing, arrived on April 28 for a two-day mission to assess business matching opportunities, meet senior government officials and visit potential production sites in Cambodia.
The trade visit coincided with the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Malaysia this year – established on August 31, 1957.
It was co-organised by the association and the Malaysian Business Chamber of Cambodia (MBCC) in collaboration with Malaysia External Trade Development Corp and supported by the Malaysian embassy in Phnom Penh.
Ding, who is also the managing director of halal frozen food manufacturer PA Food Sdn Bhd in Malaysia, said he has been working towards promoting Malaysian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to ensure better cooperation with their counterparts in other ASEAN countries.
The trade visit has three objectives, including the promotion of bilateral trade and the exploration of potential business opportunities in Cambodia.
Ding said Cambodia’s free trade market mechanism and new Law on Investment will attract a lot of foreign investment while offering benefits such as tax incentives, simplified business registration procedures and other business convenience.
“I hope and believe that this pleasant visit to Cambodia will further consolidate the cooperation between the two countries in various fields,” Ding asserted.
His vice-president Lai Yaeh Tat, who is also the trade mission organising chairman, hoped to bring more Malaysian SMEs abroad to conduct “business transformations” and enhance their business ability and mindset amid future challenges.
“With the continuous growth of their companies, there are more opportunities to communicate and share experience with powerful foreign companies.
“I hope to lead the association and our members to achieve greater milestones. I also hope all entrepreneurs can benefit from this trip,” Lai said.
MBCC president Tan Khee Meng said the timing of the trade mission was good, having taken place as Malaysia and Cambodia resumed business connections under present endemic conditions.
Cambodia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, based on its average gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the last three decades under the “wise and stable” leadership of the Cambodian government, he remarked.
“Malaysia can be considered one of the earliest investors in Cambodia, given our strong footprint in Cambodia in diversified industries for over three decades,” he said.
He believed that the association will be able to bring bilateral trade and commercial relationship between the two countries to greater heights, thanks to the investment law, opined Tan, also the managing partner of Baker Tilly (Cambodia) Co Ltd.
According to official records, the Council for the Development of Cambodia approved a total of 162 qualified investment projects from Malaysia with a total investment value of $3.15 billion in 2021.