Interview with Bosch Cambodia

“I believe there is still a huge untapped potential for Bosch in Cambodia.”

This week, we spoke with Ms. Janice Ng, Managing Director at Robert Bosch Cambodia, about the company’s presence and future plans in the country, as well as the local business climate, and recommendations for newcomers to the Cambodian economy.

Bosch is a German global player and a well-known brand offering a wide range of products and solutions for vehicles, homes, and industrial applications. What are Bosch’s main activities in Cambodia?

Bosch has been offering a range of products and services to various industries including building and construction, manufacturing and automotive for well over 100 years. We supply high quality German-standard equipment such as power tools, surveillance cameras, public address, fire detection and conferencing systems to the building and construction industry, as well as spare parts and equipment for automotive workshops.

When did Bosch decide to establish a permanent presence here and what were the reasons for this decision?

We established our presence in Cambodia back in 2010. As a German technology provider, it is important to be present locally to be closer to our customers and understand the market needs, the people and their projects that we endeavor to support. There is such fantastic potential in Cambodia and we are still excited to be doing business in the Kingdom after 14 years.

Currently less than one percent of FDI inflows into Cambodia originate from Europe. Why do you think European companies have been rather reluctant to invest so far, compared to major investors like China?

From an investment perspective, Cambodia is often overlooked due to its relatively small market size compared to its neighboring Southeast Asian countries and navigating local complexities and cultural sensitivities can certainly be challenging. Limited skilled labour remains a challenge, hindering investments in the modern industrial and technology sectors.

What potential do you see for Bosch to expand its presence in Cambodia?  

I believe there is still a huge untapped potential for Bosch in Cambodia. The growing middle class will drive increased demand in household appliances, bringing more growth opportunities for our consumer goods such as ovens, small kitchen appliances, and washing machines. In addition, with many global fast fashion retail brands implementing carbon emission targets by 2030, it is a great opportunity for Bosch to support the local garment industry through supplying our energy efficient boilers and solutions to help factories achieve their carbon emission targets mandated by these retail brands. I’m excited to see what else the future holds!

How would you describe the business climate in Cambodia and what is it like doing business here? What do you like most about it?  

Despite some challenges in doing business in the post-covid era, Cambodia presents opportunities for investors and businesses willing to navigate its evolving regulatory landscape and capitalize on its potential as an emerging and growing economy in the Mekong region. The ongoing infrastructure improvements increases connectivity across the kingdom making it easier to do business over the years. It’s an incredibly beautiful country with plenty of quiet corners to explore that continues to grow and change every year, but what I really like most about Cambodia is the friendly, open and welcoming nature of her people.

Finally, what advice would you give to companies that are interested in expanding to the Cambodian market?

It is important to have people based here to fully understand the complexity and intricacies of the Cambodian market. Therefore, establishing a local presence would be a first step. You will need to be adaptive, flexible, and ready for anything! Getting in touch with some chambers of commerce could be a good way to kick start your research into entering this busy, growing market.