Comin Khmere Pte. Ltd. (CK) says that investors in Cambodia are presently at the
"starting block", but are organizing themselves to be ready for long-term
investment when the political environment stabilizes.
Dominique Catry, CK's managing director, said, "For sure today businessmen are
reluctant to invest for the longterm. They want a quick return. Therefore they are
looking for the opportunity that will provide them with a fast return. It's obviously
the hotel and food industry." He added that his company had not taken this approach.
The company was founded in 1962 by the Cambodian branch of the Danish East Asiatic
Company as a joint venture with Cambodian interests. During the period of "Khmerization"
of all banking and foreign trade activities, the Danish company eased its activities
and eventually transferred all the assets to Comin Khmere in 1966.
Formerly registered as a Singaporean affiliation, the French-run CK received authorization
last February to act privately with a capital investment of U.S. $300,000. It provides
sales, design and comprehensive servicing of electrical systems.
The director said that difficulties were encountered when the office was opened because
the market was not ready to bear the costly service provided by Comin Khmere.
"We cannot compete with the small Chinese-style trading houses because they
just import and sell products," Dominique said, adding, "We want to differentiate
ourselves from the small trading companies."
He said no significant profit has so far been made as he promotes the expansion of
the business. "Whatever profit made we would reinvest immediately by recruiting
people or bringing more stock."
Asked about the long-term project he is looking for, he said, "It is confidential."
However, he felt confident of the project being drafted, saying, "We want to
build the image of the company-quality, expertise and professionalism. More and more
people need professionalism."
"Our reputation is gradually building up [in] the meantime," he said.