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BUSINESS

SMEs to explore business opportunities in Cambodia on April 28

25/04/2022 08:20 PM

By S. Kisho Kumari

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 (Bernama) -- SME Association of Malaysia, Malaysian Business Chamber of Cambodia (MBCC) and the Malaysian embassy in Cambodia will be jointly organising a one-day forum for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to facilitate business-matching opportunities between both countries on April 28 in Phnom Penh. 

Malaysia’s ambassador to Cambodia Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim said the event, which aims to boost trade and investment between Malaysia and Cambodia as well as explore business opportunities for SMEs, will be participated by 32 SME companies from Malaysia and about 25 Cambodian companies.

“Prior to this, SME Association sparked the idea of this forum in the Cambodian embassy in Kuala Lumpur and that’s how they managed to reach us to further execute the idea,” he told Bernama. 

The event will be represented by Eldeen Husaini and the Minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office and secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia Sok Chenda Sophea.

On the business matching, he said there would be two business groups from Malaysia, the food and beverage (F&B) manufacturing as well as construction and logistics sectors joining the event. 

He also hoped to see a bigger amount of investment from the forum which could boost trade between both countries as a memorandum of understanding was also scheduled to be signed.

“We will see this as an opportunity for our young businessmen to come and explore Cambodia because apparently, the country is still a young economy and all this while the businesses there have been dominated by China,” Eldeen Husaini said. 

He also believed the growing demand for the F&B and logistics sectors would bring good business potential for Malaysian companies to venture into Cambodia in line with the country’s plan to host the ASEAN Summit and also the 2023 SEA Games.

“Cambodians want more energy drinks, fast food and energy bars as they promote healthy living and at the same time, we can see more foreign companies starting to come in with fast food like pizza. 

“Subsequently is of course the logistics and construction of buildings because Cambodia is a growing country, especially Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville which are looking for materials. This is where companies from Malaysia can come forward to offer,” he explained. 

He said media and entertainment will be another opportunity to be explored by Malaysian SMEs. 

Explaining further on investment in Cambodia, Eldeen Husaini said Malaysia stands in the top three foreign direct investment countries after China and South Korea, with a total of US$3.53 billion (US$1=RM4.33) invested from 1994 to 2020. 

“The record also shows that Cambodians are happy dealing with Malaysians and we have all five major banks here, namely Maybank, RHB Bank, Hong Leong Bank, Public Bank and CIMB Bank.

“They open the door for young entrepreneurs to come. No way you can see that it is difficult to do business in Cambodia because all banks are here to do the facilitation of finance,” he said. 

Therefore, he said the forum would be the first stepping stone for Malaysian SMEs to explore business and investment, coupled with guidance and assistance from the embassy. 

“Businesses must not just look at the embassy as a place to seek help when in trouble but also as a place where we can facilitate, help and seek guidance to promote their investments,” he said.

He also stressed that this would be the right time to seek opportunities in Cambodia as the door is opened for Malaysians, adding that businesses must come well prepared as the country is looking for serious buyers and sellers. 

Last year the total Cambodia-Malaysia trade amounted to US$566.1 million compared to US$470.7 million in 2020, while Malaysian exports to Cambodia amounted to US$456.7 million in 2021 and imports stood at US$109.5 million.

-- BERNAMA


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