The government has submitted a new draft sub-decree to Prime Minister Hun Sen that would amend the mandate of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, allowing the business association to establish representative offices abroad to promote trade and investment, an official said yesterday.
Soeng Sophary, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said that if approved, the sub-decree would allow Cambodians living and doing business abroad to become members of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and officially represent the chamber overseas.
“The amendment to the sub-decree is an official way for getting permission to establish the CCC in other countries to promote the business sector,” she said. Sophary said an overseas presence would promote trade by building networks to attract investment.
“We see there are a lot of foreign chambers of commerce in Cambodia that work to benefit their country’s investment,” she said. “We need to have this for us in their countries as well. ”The representative offices would be established in the capitals of countries or areas that have a high population of Cambodian expatriates, she added.
Lim Heng, vice president of CCC, said that while the organisation is fully recognised as Cambodia’s only business chamber, it has yet to establish an international footprint that would increase the flow of investment.
“It is really important to set up CCC offices in other countries that show a potential for trade,” he said. “[The overseas offices] would collect trade and investment information and build networks to attract investment.”
Heng said that initially, top destinations for potential CCC offices would be the US, Canada, EU, South Korea, Japan and China – all of which are among Cambodia’s largest trading and investment partners.
“The offices would also allow us to cooperate with Cambodians living in other countries,” he said. “It is also a way for investors looking for Cambodian partners to do business without being cheated, because they would be protected by the CCC.”
Heng added that the CCC counts nearly 5,000 locally registered firms as members.