Trade Officials Look Toward Franchises

Cambodian officials returned from trade meetings in Geneva on Friday with word that they were closer to World Trade Or­gan­ization membership and ad­vice for investors. 

Businessmen and women should consider investing in franchise licenses, said Sok Siphana, secretary of state for the Ministry of Commerce.

Sok Siphana spoke upon his return to Cambodia from further WTO negotiations with a delegation led by Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh looking to join the world body by Sep­tember.

Following this visit, the WTO working party dealing with Cambodia’s membership will aim to complete a report by July setting out terms and conditions of WTO entry.

After speaking with delegates from other WTO countries, Sok Siphana said, the Cambodians began to think about franchise opportunities.

“If we do it right, I believe the rich Cambodians are able to invest,” Sok Siphana said.

A trademark business can take advantage of the standards, business structure, marketing strategies and style of well-known brands; but starting a franchise isn’t cheap.

A franchise investment can run $300,00 to $400,000, he said.

“This, as I understand it, is a new way and opportunity for Cambodians to invest,” he said. “So money that used to sleep under the bed will go out to invest.”

Customers know what to expect from a franchise, he said, even if it’s on the other side of the world.

“For customers, they need it this way,” he said. “I believe that we can go ahead with a franchise policy.”

Cambodia has at least two franchise businesses: the Dairy Queen at the Phnom Penh Inter­national Airport and the Trung Nguyen coffee shop in the new Olympic Stadium development on Sihanouk Boulevard.

Chy Sila, general director of Trung Nguyen, said the franchise license cost $40,000.

(Additional reporting by the Associated Press)

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