Trade Fairs Increase Business, Boost Visibility of Local Wares

Organizing and participating in trade fairs both at home and abroad is a crucial component of efforts to boost international business partnerships, trade officials said Monday.

Cambodian goods have so far been featured at 11 international trade fairs around Asia, and today, export promotion officials and a dozen Cambodian companies will fly to Burma to participate in another four-day exhibition.

“We have to let people know who we are and what we have to sell,” said Seun Sotha, deputy director of the Commerce Min­istry’s export promotion department.

The products most often displayed by Cambodian firms in­clude handmade crafts, spirits, clothing, medicines and jewelry, Seun Sotha said, adding that the cost of attending an overseas event generally costs companies at least $3,000 each.

He said that while e-commerce has been lauded as the future of international trade, it is difficult to evaluate goods online. Trade fairs, in contrast, put products right in front of prospective buyers.

Exhibitions are also often used as a stage for newly developed wares. “Trade fairs not only allow us to look for markets for our own products, but we can gain experience from other countries,” Seun Sotha said.

Starting Friday, the country will host its third annual Cambodia International Trade Fair, which will last four days at Phnom Penh’s Mondial Center.

With 52 companies and associations from around the world displaying a wide array of wares, spanning the gamut from electrical engineering equipment to leather products, the fair will feature 70 booths, 16 of them displaying Cambodian goods.

Top Repute Co Ltd, a company that specializes in trade fairs, organized this year’s event with the export promotion department.

Sok San, country manager for Top Repute, said that trade fairs also serve as networking centers for cross-border investors. “More investors have the chance to link their business networks to other countries,” he said.


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