Turkish companies looking to expand operations in the Kingdom’s health care industry were among the most visible participants of a trade exposition held in Phnom Penh over the weekend.
Turkish firms made up half of the 24 exhibitors at the two-day Cambodia Phar-Med Expo 2016, an annual industry event for pharmaceutical and medical suppliers.
Burcu Oz, chief of the chemical products department at the Istanbul Mineral & Metals Exporters’ Association (IKMIB), said that Turkish companies, many coming to the country for the first time, want to establish a greater market presence in Cambodia and hoped to find local distributors at the event.
“Cambodia is one of our potential markets in the [ASEAN] region,” she said, adding that Turkish products are becoming better known after several Turkish companies already created partnerships in the Kingdom to import and sell their goods.
“[The exposition] is a good chance for Turkish companies to expand their operations here,” she said.
According to Oz, demand for drugs, medical tools and machinery for the health care sector is rising in Cambodia. However, currently the market is mainly made up of products from China, Korea, Singapore and Japan.
Hayri Acar, regional sales coordinator for NUVE, a Turkish manufacturer of laboratory and sterilisation equipment, said his company has already begun selling its products in the country, despite not yet having an official distributor in Cambodia. The company’s sales numbers demonstrate that demand is high, but the company prefers to work through local partners rather than invest directly, he explained.
“We know there is demand for our products in Cambodia,” he said. “We came here because we are looking for distributors.”
Overall trade between Turkey and Cambodia remains relatively small at $108 million a year, according to figures from the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, yet both parties plan to increase bilateral trade to $500 million by 2020.