The fight against Covid-19 was utilized to restart Cambodia’s tourism. The expectations are that Cambodian tourism will fully recover and re-launch by 2025 at the latest.
In late 2021, the Royal Embassy of Cambodia was involved in organizing the online business seminar under the working title “Cambodia – New Destination for Business, Investment and Tourism”, in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia. The event was held on 30th March this year.
The seminar was officially opened by the Director of Division for Strategic Analyses, Services and Internationalisation at the CCIS, Mr Mihajlo Vesović, and the participants were greeted by H.E. Mr Tan Vutha, Ambassador of Cambodia to Serbia. H.E. Nhim Khemera also gave a welcome speech followed by a short oral report/presentation on the current economic and tourism situation in Cambodia.
Mr Vongmonasekar Vuthy (Member of the Cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn and Member of Economic Diplomacy Group, MFAIC) presented the topic of Economic Diplomacy in Cambodia. The presentation provided a clear view of the goal and strategy of Economic Diplomacy which is described as a strategic priority for the MFAIC, the initiative geared towards the modernization of diplomacy through an economic lens.
Mr Vuthy underlined that the Economic Diplomacy Coordinating Group acts as a coordinating body to connect relevant parties/stakeholders in order to effectively implement the 2021-2023Economic Diplomacy Strategy. Additionally, he said that the Group does not override the roles of existing institutions and has the objective of promoting international trade, attracting foreign direct investments, and promoting tourism and cultural and sports exchange.
Mr Suon Sophal showed his presentation on the topic of Enabling Investment Climate in Cambodia during which he described investment trends and investment facilitation with a detailed description of Fiscal and Tax Incentives for Investors.
H.E. Thong Rathasak, Director-General of the Ministry of Tourism, presented about tourism in Cambodia, general information and statistics. The presentation described in detail current statistical data and also showed the negative impact of Covid-19 on the country’s tourism. Mr Rathasak underlined that fighting against Covid-19 was utilized to restart Cambodian tourism. The expectations are that Cambodian tourism will fully recover and re-launch by 2025 at the latest.
The Asean Tourism Forum’s activities were described in some detail. The Forum met in January 2022 to mark the reopening of Cambodia and Asia to international tourists. The high vaccination rollout (94% of the population of Cambodia was vaccinated with 3 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine) is the guarantor of the safety for everyone who comes to that part of the world, Mr Thong pointed out. The presentation also showed Cambodia’s Tourism Zones and major infrastructural projects which will facilitate tourism development.
The presentation was followed by two short videos about Cambodia – Invest in Cambodia and Tourism Cambodia (Cambodia Kingdom of Wonder).
Mr LUU Meng, President of the Cambodia Tourism Federation (CTF) explained that CTF is a private sector organization investing in tourism locally and internationally. The presentation was titled Business Opportunities in Cambodia and it covered investment ideas and opportunities in several different parts of Cambodia (e.g. Riverside, coastline Sihanoukville, eco and cultural tourism). Mr Luu recommended more investments in the hospitality industry and culinary education.
“The fight against Covid-19 was utilized to restart Cambodia’s tourism. The expectations are that Cambodian tourism will fully recover and re-launch by 2025 at the latest”
Mr MENG Nimol, Deputy Director-General of Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, was last to give a presentation, titled Business Environment and Cooperation. Cambodia is one of the fastest-growing Asian economies, aspiring to become a lower-middle-income society in the future. Mr Nimol talked about the government’s private sector forum and its working groups, which are active and important business sectors in Cambodia. He underlined that there were many opportunities for investors in different business segments in Cambodia. Also, products from Cambodia can be exported duty-free to several big markets (the USA, China).
In the coming period, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia plans to host a culinary event and the promotion of the internationally awarded book “The Taste of Angkor” with the view of promoting the unique culinary experience of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
It should be noted that the Cambodia – New Destination for Business, Investment and Tourism programme was implemented at the same time as Cambodia and Serbia celebrated the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation hopes and believes that this programme will serve as a new starting point in promoting economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries through the resumption of social-economic development after the Covid-19-induced crisis.