More than 150 businesses and associations from around the world gathered on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich yesterday for the launch of the country’s annual food and hospitality exhibition.
Two events, the International Food, Drinks and Wine Show and the Cambodian International Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Industry Show, attracted dozens of representatives from international food brands seeking to enter the Cambodian market. Cooking competitions also took place where chefs and kitchen staff battled it out in front of large crowds.
Rashel Khan, managing director of the Singapore-based kitchen appliance supplier, Ace Management, said that with the tourism industry growing strongly in Cambodia, there is more demand than ever for high-end appliances.
“Our plan is to expand our business in Cambodia from our successes in the Vietnamese and Bangladeshi markets and to better understand the hospitality market here,” he said, adding that his firm has the distribution rights to the American company Scotsman and British catering equipment manufacturer Roller Grill.
“We are here looking for a long-term investment,” he said.
Representatives from the U.S.-based fresh meat producer Hormel and Johnson also said they were interested in offering their products in Cambodia.
Hoping to find investors to create a dairy farm in Cambodia, Malcolm Pearce, director of British cattle breeding firm, Montbeliarde Marketing Co., said that he is trying to generate enough money and government support to import cattle embryos and semen from Britain to inseminate local live stock.
“You have 3 million kids under 7 years of age that should be drinking 250 milliliters of milk a day and you can see how it affects the mortality rate of those kids, which is 5.5 percent—way to high,” he said. “What we need to do is produce high quality milk using the right genetics.”
During the first round of the restaurant competitions, local bartenders were judged on the color and taste of their drinks, while hotel maids raced against the clock to make up beds. Chefs carved exotic shapes from local fruits while baristas sought to brew the tastiest batch of coffee.
“While these competitions will bring much fun and excitement to the competitors and spectators alike, it will also serve to further improve the level of skills and proficiency of the industry,” Mohamed Mahyuddin Mohd Dahan, the event’s organizer said during a speech yesterday.
Both events run through Friday.