Small enterprises specializing in locally-made products got a boost over the weekend with the hosting of a Cambodian trade fair in Phnom Penh, which ended on Sunday, officials said.
More than 120 booths were occupied by vendors offering everything from fine Cambodian wine to Internet and educational services at the three-day event organized in Preah Soramarith Park opposite Wat Botum.
“I thought that it was a foreign grape wine the first time I tried it with my family members,” said Long Vanna after purchasing a one-liter bottle of Cambodia-made “Rose” wine from Battambang province.
“It is really high quality, which is why I decided to buy it myself,” Long Vanna said of his $6 purchase.
Wine retailer Pech Ngim said she had done a roaring trade during the fair, racking up more than 300 bottles of wine sold by Sunday lunchtime.
“The trade fair was a really good chance for small enterprises to exhibit their products to Cambodian people,” Pech Ngim said, adding that such fairs were also a good popularity test for local products.
Ngav Pheat, 20, lamented that the fair was only a once-in-a-while occasion and not a permanent fixture to showcase local products to Cambodians and foreigners.
“I would prefer to have more exhibitions,” said Ngav Pheat, who had made several purchases of her own from a stall selling silk bags and intricately woven mats.
“We can promote our own products to foreign countries and remind our own people that Cambodian products are made to a very high quality,” she said.
Organized by the International Labor Organization with funds from German Technical Assistance and in cooperation with the Artisans Association of Cambodia and government ministries, the trade fair was also held in Siem Reap town in August and Battambang town in October, said ILO National Project Coordinator Sok Somith.
Though organizers estimated that some 15,000 people would visit the fair in Phnom Penh, that figure had been trebled by Sunday lunchtime and more than 45,000 visitors had made their way to the events and purchased goods, Sok Somith said.