Home » Cambodian Private Sector Sees Promising Prospects in UAE Market

Cambodian Private Sector Sees Promising Prospects in UAE Market

by Surya Narayan
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The Cambodian business community is expressing confidence in the potential opportunities presented by the Cambodia-United Arab Emirates (UAE) Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CAM-UAE CEPA) and the concurrent Cambodia-UAE Business and Investment Forum held in Dubai, the UAE’s business epicenter.

These initiatives are poised to substantially boost cooperation in trade, real estate, and tourism, thereby fostering enhanced bilateral relations.

The CEPA, which began discussions in Abu Dhabi in October 2022, was formally ratified in Phnom Penh on June 8, 2023, and became effective as of January 31 this year, following several rounds of negotiations between the two capitals.

The commencement of the CEPA and the aim to elevate business and investment opportunities were celebrated with the 3rd Cambodia-UAE Business and Investment Forum on February 27, hosted by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The forum sought to fortify the trade connections between the nations and featured key figures such as Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce Cham Nimul and UAE’s Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, along with delegates from the commerce chambers and various sectors of both countries.

Kim Heang, a leading figure at Keller Williams (KW) Cambodia and Khmer Real Estate Co Ltd, shared his positive outlook on the burgeoning partnership between Cambodia and the UAE, recognizing the latter’s advanced economy. Heang, who attended the forum in Dubai, underscored the potential for expansive trade collaboration, starting with the tourism sector.

He observed an increasing trend of Cambodian visitors to the UAE but noted a lack of reciprocal tourism, attributing this to limited promotional efforts.

Heang remarked on the vast potential for collaboration during his initial visit to the UAE, citing the region’s attractive investment policies. He pointed out the significant opportunity for Cambodian agricultural products in the UAE market, driven by their quality, affordability, and the high demand in the UAE.

In the realm of real estate and construction, Heang highlighted the Arab region, especially the UAE, as a magnet for international investors, with the UAE market being particularly enticing for investment and business ventures.

He also noted the UAE’s distinction as a global market leader, characterized by its minimal taxation, often at zero rates.

Lim Heng, Vice-President of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, echoed the sentiment that the trade agreement would be highly advantageous for Cambodia, enhancing the country’s export capabilities to the UAE and other Arab nations and attracting more investors, especially in sectors like oil, gas, and energy. He emphasized the strategic location of freight traffic from Cambodia, offering proximity to European and US markets.

Heng was optimistic about the UAE market’s role in expanding the export scope for Cambodian products, especially in agriculture, where the Arab world has lesser productivity compared to Cambodia’s growing output.

Penn Sovicheat from the Commerce Ministry highlighted Cambodia’s potential to draw attention from the UAE across various sectors, including oil, minerals, agriculture, and meat production. He pointed out Cambodia’s efforts to explore its export market potential, aiming to extend its reach not only to the UAE but also across the broader Middle East.

The agreement is anticipated to draw investors from Middle Eastern countries to Cambodia for production and export activities, with the UAE market serving as a gateway to other regional markets due to existing inter-regional agreements.

Source: Phnompenh Post

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