GBC Review of the Year 2023

Much done – more to come in 2024

As in previous years, German Business Cambodia was able to implement meaningful ventures and contribute to a wide range of events in 2023, together with the GIZ Business Scouts for Development (BSfD) program and EuroCham Cambodia.

At the beginning of the year, German President Walter Steinmeier visited Cambodia and met with members of German Business Cambodia. GBC took great pleasure in subsequently briefing the president’s private sector delegation on a variety of economic sectors in Cambodia.

In February, GBC assisted German Industry and Commerce (AHK) Myanmar with inputs and organizational support during their one-week German market entry program to Cambodia on Water & Wastewater Management. In the same month – and again in June –, GBC presented during an online event for members of the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA).

In April, GBC supported a fundraiser for disadvantaged Cambodian children organized by German Kinderhilfe e.V. with a virtual presentation during the opening of an art exhibition in Zurich. In the same month, GBC also supported an SME Cashew Workshop by GIZ CRAS on exporting cashew nuts to Europe.

The annual Waste Summit Cambodia, organized by KAS Cambodia, was held in May in Phnom Penh. GBC and the GIZ Business Scout were delighted to contribute a Business Talk to the event, featuring various presentations from the local private sector perspective.

During a fact-finding mission of the German Import Promotion Desk (IPD) in June, GBC supported with the organisation and accompanied several of the company visits. In the same month, German Industry and Commerce (AHK) Vietnam visited GBC and other Cambodian stakeholders after taking over regional responsibility for Cambodia from AHK Myanmar. On the occasion of the visit, GBC organized a German Networking Night at Hops, connecting AHK to the GBC member community. In the following month and after signing an MOU, GBC, the GIZ Business Scout, and EuroCham proceeded on a three-day return visit to Vietnam, excellently organized by AHK Vietnam with a focus on local German investments.

Prior to this, the highlight of the year had been the successful organization of a one-week delegation visit to Cambodia on Waste Management and Resource Recovery in October, joined by 7 European – mostly German – companies. It was organized together with the GIZ Business Scouts and EuroCham Cambodia, covering three provinces and the capital Phnom Penh. GBC was delighted to have received excellent reviews by the delegates for the trip.

In terms of further events, several webinars were conducted in the second half of the year, namely on the Cambodian Electrical and Electronic Equipment Industry – together with the German Asia-Pacific Business Association –, Ecotourism in Cambodia, and Special Economic Zones in Cambodia. All events featured a wealth of private sector speakers and were jointly organized by GBC, GIZ, and EuroCham. As the final (physical) event of the year, GBC gave a presentation on exporting to Europe during an SME Export Talk in Siem Reap, organized by GIZ Arise Plus.

In collaboration with its partners, GBC also published a number of brochures this year, including two Sector Briefs – on Electronics and on Waste Management – as well as six additional brochures of the “Sourcing from Cambodia” series covering Cashew, Chilli, Cosmetics, Ecotourism, Maize, and Rice. Furthermore, a guidebook on Alternative Manufacturing and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Cambodia will be completed shortly.

As for 2024, minor changes will occur regarding collaboration with the GIZ Business Scouts for Development Programme, as it will be merged with the Agency for Business & Economic Development to streamline addressing the private sector as a one-stop-shop under the new name “Partners in Transformation – Business & Development Network”.