Interview of Mr. Seun Sotha
Director of Trade Promotion Department, Ministry of Commerce
15 Dec. 2010 At Koh Pich Exhibition Center, Phnom Pen, Cambodia
Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia organized the 5th Cambodia Import-Export and One Province One Product Exhibition from 15 to 18 December 2010 at the Koh Pich Exhibition Center in Phnom Pen. Mr. Seun Sotha, Director of Trade Promotion Department, told in an interview on 15 Dec. 2010 the Ministry was keen to promote its economy by offering effective business platform continually.
“What is the objective of the exhibition?”
– This year is the 5th year of the exhibition. This is the sole international exhibition in Cambodia organized by the government. The objective of the exhibition is to promote (1) import (2) export (3) one province one product as a whole. Cambodia is the member of WTO. So we have to fulfill our obligation to integrate Cambodian trade with the global economy.
Especially, I expect that the exhibition can push the export of Cambodian products around the oversea markets. For instance, local companies exhibit agricultural products made in provinces and we believe there’re lot of opportunities for exporting rice to many countries. I understand that exporting rice to Japan is very difficult. For Japanese market, Cambodian silk and handicraft have lots of possibilities to export.
“How is this year’s exhibition compared to the last year?”
– Both scale and quality are upgraded. Until last year exhibition was held outside but this year we could organize it under the air-conditioned convention and exhibition center at Diamond Island. This is the improvement. As for exhibitors, many local and foreign companies participate and we reached a record number of exhibitors this year. I’m not sure the exact number of traders yet but they are also increasing and I saw more foreigners than previous year.
“What is the strategy for next exhibition?”
– The Ministry will organize Import-Export and One Province One Product Exhibition on the same days (15-18 Dec.) in 2011. We are keen to attract more exhibitors next time. Further, we will diversify the exhibition products to suit traders’ needs so that more foreign buyers come. I hope ASEAN-Japan Centre’s continual support for the exhibition in the future.
We will promote Cambodian economy by focusing on promotion of this exhibition. The more exhibitors come, the more Cambodian economy is developed as the foreign traders and investors could have opportunities to do business with local traders. This is the first strategy. Therefore, we have to invite foreign traders as many as possible.
“Other than this exhibition, what is the Ministry’s strategy to develop domestic economy?”
We will participate in overseas exhibitions including Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore in 2011 to encourage new market entry of local companies. Further, the Ministry focuses on marketing and research activities. For example, we train Trade Promotion Department staffs to be specialized in study and research oversea markets.
We believe all those can contribute to the development of Cambodian economy as a whole.