A group comprising more than 130 members, The French Cambodian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFC) umbrellas a varied range of businesses, individual entrepreneurs, non-government organisations, and international organisations that cover an equally vast spectrum of industries.
It was founded in 1998, originally called the Franco-Cambodian Business Club, and had amassed 50 members after two years, after which it changed its name to the French Cambodian Chamber of Commerce. In 2011, it linked arms with its German and British counterparts to found the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (EuroCham).
While the CCIFC keeps an active hand in organising business events for its members, especially within EuroCham itself, as well as promoting the interests of European businesses in a bid to give these companies an outlet to gain a foothold in the Kingdom, there has recently been more focus on recognising the efforts that French companies have poured into the country.
Together with EuroCham, CCIFC is engaged in various government-private sector initiatives in order to promote investment, best practices and develop solutions and projects that benefit the entire business community.
Since 2002, CCIFC has been part of the Federation of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry Abroad (CCI International) – a global network, encompassing 112 Chambers represented in 82 countries and comprising more than 23,000 member companies (including 50% of foreign businesses) – which has become the largest private association of French businesses in the world.
This recognition of efforts from French companies sees the establishment of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) competition by another French entity – the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur de la France (CCEF), also known in English as the French Trade Advisors in Cambodia.
With the support of the CCIFC, and the support extended by H.E Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, the CSR competition promotes a healthy cooperation of not just establishing businesses in the country, but rightfully giving back as much as possible.
“CCEF’s role is to promote trade and business activities between France and Cambodia. As such, we contribute to the establishments of French companies in Cambodia and we help Cambodian companies to export and develop their activities in France,” says Christophe Forsinetti, who has been the president of the CCEF for the past year.
French companies have a natural tendency to develop CSR activities. Because of the apparent commitment that many French companies strongly have towards the development of Cambodia, the CCEF wanted to raise awareness on the phenomenon.
Forsinetti explains, “Through a selective process, a jury composed of experts scored applying companies in their respective categories: environment, social impact, and governance, on March 26, 2016.”
The four companies recognised and awarded for their outstanding contribution were EXO Travel, Total Cambodge, Endorphine Concept Digital Solutions, and Confirel.
“The visibility and the success of the first award ceremony led the organisers and partners to raise awareness on these best practices by organising this event every year [from now],” he concludes.
There will be a conference soon to be held in partnership with the CCIFC due to the strong media impact that this inaugural CSR awards ceremony garnered.