The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is set to open a representative office in Toronto, Canada on May 27 – its first-ever international outpost – to serve as a central information hub to encourage foreign investment and stimulate trade between the two countries.
Presently in Canada, CCC vice-president Lim Heng confirmed to The Post that he would be present at the elections for the president and 14 board members of the representative office, to be held on opening day.
He commented that the office would bolster trade flows between the two countries, which he noted have remained on a significant upward growth trajectory – an assertion backed by data from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE).
In January-April, trade between the two countries was worth more than $347 million, up 21.3 per cent on a yearly basis, of which Cambodian exports topped $340 million (up 22.9 per cent) and imports passed $7 million (down 26 per cent), according to the GDCE. Similarly, the Kingdom’s trade surplus with Canada expanded by nearly a quarter on-year.
Heng said he would take the occasion to reach out to businesspeople in Canada and share potential investment ideas in the Kingdom.
He also suggested that the CCC’s second international representative office would be opened in Japan. Similarly, the Ministry of Commerce had held a meeting on the Toronto office on March 3, where it was revealed that a feasibility study for a second Canadian office in Montreal was in the works.
Ministry undersecretary of state and spokesman Penn Sovicheat told The Post on May 26 that the representative office would be crucial to getting the word out to Canadian players on the Kingdom’s prospective areas of investment.
He said the office would also facilitate progress on straightforward market studies concerning non-tariff technical barriers to trade, which he believes could lead to a bilateral free trade agreement down the road.
Reciprocally, he added, the office would afford Cambodian-based investors access to Canadian market information – especially on investment conditions – as well as notify them of upcoming industry trade events.
Sovicheat stressed that Canada is a huge market for Cambodia, which offers GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) treatment to the Kingdom. Canada also provides a bridge to the US market – a top destination for Cambodian merchandise – as neighbouring countries that enjoy free-trade benefits, he noted.
Acting as a technical guardian of the CCC, the commerce ministry is also scouting for suitable European locations to set up representative offices, he affirmed.