Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Long haul leads to ‘the pot of gold’




Long haul leads to ‘the pot of gold’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Malaysian Business Chamber of Cambodia president Teh Sing. Supplied

Long haul leads to ‘the pot of gold’

President of the Malaysian Business Chamber of Cambodia (MBCC) Teh Sing, who arrived in Phnom Penh in the early 1990s, has witnessed a firsthand the transformation of the Kingdom – from a struggling post-conflict nation into a sizzling economy in Asean.

In an interview with The Post, the veteran businessman shares a glimpse of the exciting journey that is Malaysians’ contribution to the Cambodian economy.

How has the MBCC contributed to the development of the business sector in the Kingdom?

The MBCC operates as a non-profit association and in a non-political manner. Our main objective is promoting and encouraging Malaysian businesses to establish and maintain the highest standards of business, management and professional practice in order to upkeep the image of Malaysia.

In addition, we provide a forum for monthly meetings, discussions and interaction for Malaysian businesses and government personnel in Cambodia. MBCC continues to encourage Malaysian investment in Cambodia and foster good relations with the business community in the Kingdom.

How has the business landscape changed in Cambodia since the MBCC started operations in February 1993?

The business landscape has grown exponentially since 1993. A case in point is that of the beer business. In 1993 Cambrew Limited, a Malaysian company, operated the only brewery in Cambodia. Today there are more than six.

Another case in point is the banking industry. While in 1993 there were less than 10 commercial banks, this has ballooned to 51 today.

An estimated 800 Malaysian companies, both large and small, are currently operating in Cambodia, supported by some 3,000 Malaysians residing here. What is driving Malaysian companies to venture into the Kingdom?

It started with our former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad who introduced the “Prosper Thy Neighbours Policy” when he led the first group of Malaysian investors to Cambodia.

Further with the Cambodian government’s pro-business investment policies, many new Malaysian businesses were attracted to invest in Cambodia.

A new phenomenon is also visible – a new generation of young Malaysians are entering cutting edge businesses, from fintech and digital technology to professional services. How do you view this growing trend?

Greater growth for sure!

Many Malaysians are helming top positions in Cambodian and international companies, especially in the banking and finance sector. Are Malaysians exporting their expertise?

With regards to the banking and finance sector, Campu Bank [Cambodian Public Bank] was the first Malaysian bank in Cambodia in 1992. It started with only one branch and today has 31, and these are now headed by Cambodians.
This itself is a great example of Malaysians exporting their expertise.

Could you share how Malaysia-Cambodia trade relations are evolving, especially at the private sector level?

Malaysia was the largest investor here for more than a decade until being overtaken by China. Malaysian businesses are well recognised by the Cambodian government as well as the Cambodian business community here.

The good trade relations between us can only improve as we currently have a very active Malaysian Ambassador [Eldeen Husaini], who goes the extra mile to further strengthen this relationship.

The “Double Taxation Avoidance” agreement is still on the table. When do you think this will materalise and how important is it for the Malaysian business community?

It is definitely very important and helpful for our Malaysian business community here. However, with a new Malaysian government formed in March this year, I am in no position to speculate as to when this will materalise.

What advice do you have for budding Malaysian entrepreneurs on this 63rd National Day of Malaysia?

Having been here since 1992, my advice is that if you come here for the long haul, you will definitely find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Show evidence of Chinese military base, critics told

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said he had had enough of certain countries and opposition groups claiming Cambodia had allowed China to base its military in Cambodia and dared critics to show clear evidence. Hun Sen made the remarks while presiding over a groudbreaking