The European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) in Cambodia on Tuesday launched a $3.8 million, European Union-funded program to promote Cambodia as an investment destination.
The five-year program aims to recruit small and medium enterprises in the E.U. that would also bring much-needed skills to Cambodia’s workforce, EuroCham Cambodia chairman Emmanuel Menanteau said during a press conference in Phnom Penh on Tuesday morning.
“We want to bring companies able to provide skills and labor for the development of Cambodia,” Mr. Menanteau said, adding that the program would focus on the hospitality, tourism, health care and pharmaceutical industries.
Mr. Menanteau said Cambodia was still perceived by prospective European investors as unstable and remote.
“History and proximity…. It’s far from their usual government and usual market,” he said. Mr. Menanteau, however, was unable to say how many E.U. companies are currently doing business in the country.
Jean-Francois Cautain, E.U. ambassador to Cambodia, said European investments accounted for only 2 percent of Cambodia’s foreign direct investment last year, amounting to roughly $30 million.
“Investment to Cambodia from the E.U. is lagging,” Mr. Cautain said. “There’s room for improvement.”
© 2014, Joshua Wilwohl. All rights reserved.