In the first “Business Talk” organized by German Business Group Cambodia (ADW) and the Global Business Network (GBN) Programme in Phnom Penh, representatives of the private sector met their counterparts from major bilateral German development cooperation agencies. Following the establishment of GBN’s Business & Cooperation Desk within the German chapter of European Chamber of Commerce, the event on November 30th was the first of this kind in Cambodia, aiming to deepen links between the private sector, official bilateral development cooperation, non-governmental German organisations, and political foundations.
Attended by more than 30 participants – including representatives from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – the event provided information of current development policies that focus on economic cooperation. According to BMZ’s Björn Schildberg, between 2007 and 2019 the ministry’s budget for development partnerships with the private sector has tripled to about € 180 million. He further welcomed GBN as a one-stop-shop for local and German/European business institutions that bundles German-funded instruments for development-oriented business activities.
In the discussion afterwards, several examples and initiatives illustrated the potential for further cooperation, such as in the agriculture sector and for the development of a “green economy”. Harald Hüttenrauch, director of state-owned KfW development bank, delivered valuable insights about financial cooperation possibilities.
According to Tassilo Brinzer, President of ADW, both the German development sector and the private sector are placing high confidence and a strong commitment on Cambodia with opportunities for more cooperation. “It is the first time that such a broad exchange between the German development initiatives in Cambodia and the private sector has taken place, and I think that both were able to share where their particular focus and expectations to the marketplace here are.” Clearly, in the coming months we will continue to explore the most relevant cooperation opportunities in more detail”, adds Bianca Untied, GBN coordinator.