Shrinking spaces for opposition politicians and civil society organizations along with persistent economic reform bottlenecks and some declines in government performance caused a downgrade of Cambodia in the most extensive comparative global transition survey published by a German foundation on March 22nd. While Cambodia improved in just one indicator (“output strength”) in the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI), it worsened in eleven out of 49 in total.
Almost six months after general elections, Germany gets a new government. On March 14th, the majority of 709 members of parliament – the “Bundestag” – voted in for Angela Merkel’s fourth term as head of government. She will lead a coalition government consisting of Germany’s strongest political factions CDU/CSU (Christian Democrats) and SPD (Social Democrats) which also formed the last administration.
In its February 14, 2018 issue, the Phnom Penh Post raised the challenge of high costs of doing business in Cambodia which could jeopardize further investments. It quotes investors and company managers who called on the government to take immediate steps to lower logistics costs during a forum hosted by the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) on Tuesday. The German Business Group (ADW) is a founding member of EuroCham in Cambodia. Building on this discussion, in an own statement Tassilo Brinzer, President of the ADW, underlines the importance of Cambodia’s seam- and frictionless integration into cross-border value chains.
Finally, carnival has arrived in Phnom Penh. And what a success it was! The German beer garden Hops hosted a traditional carnival weekend with typical drinks, food and entertainment for young and not so young revelers alike. The German brew master Bernd had prepared 500 liters of the traditional Kölsch beer from Rhineland – a region in Western Germany – and he proofed convincingly that he knows his craft from Cologne, the stronghold of German carnival. And those five hectoliters were urgently needed as the German and Cambodian party folks joint the happening with enthusiasm.
The German Business Group welcomes an international logistic enterprise as its youngest member. Kuehne + Nagel has operated in the kingdom of Cambodia since 1999 by connecting the garment industrial actors of this country to the world through its global network and offering services and solutions that have contributed to fully integrating Cambodia production into a global supply chain.
In 1997, the German Apsara Conservation Project (GACP) officially started its engagement in the conservation of the temples of Angkor by preserving the stone, carving and the exterior style of temples at the Angkor complex and other areas. Since then, joint efforts of GACP and APSARA Authority in safeguarding the artistic heritage of Cambodia produced many visible results that underline a successful cooperation. With an international scientific symposium about future challenges of stone conservation at Angkor, GACP celebrated its 20th anniversary in Siem Reap last December.
The German Asia-Pacific Business Association (OAV) published the latest volume of its annual business handbook about the entire region. With a print run of 2,000 copies, it consists of current information about Asia in the fields of politics and economics. For the second time, Markus Karbaum, General Manager of Dr. Karbaum Consulting, is the author of the Cambodian chapter.
With the third Audi International Jazz Festival of Phnom Penh, the organizers continue their contribution to the resurrection of Cambodia’s artistic Golden Age of the 60s. The festival directly interrelates to the capacity of musical laboratory that made the reputation of Cambodia in these times. On December 13th, Raffles Hotel Le Royal welcomes the internationally renowned Christian Brenner Quartet. One day later, they perform together with famous trumpeter Damon Brown at Topaz Restaurant.
According to a study published on November 16th, Germany is the most popular country among 50 nations. France ranks on second position, followed by the United Kingdom while Canada and Japan share position four. The United States – last year on top position – fall on rank six, suffering from a substantial drop in global perception.