China-South Asia Expo: Cambodia’s window to the world

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Cambodian products for display at Kunming’s CSAEXPO. KT/Ros Chanveasna

The fifth edition of the China-South Asia Expo (CSAEXPO) in Kunming, in China’s Yunnan province, concluded yesterday, with Cambodia represented by more than 20 businesses who were given the opportunity to showcase their products to buyers from around the world.

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The participating Cambodian businesses specialised in a myriad of traditional products, including handicrafts, leatherware, silverware and gems.

The expo attracted businesses from 86 different nations.

Secretary of State for Commerce Choun Dara, who led the Cambodian delegation to the expo, said the Cambodian representation in the event was sizeable, but ultimately small compared to contingents from other countries.

“Throughout the years, this expo has grown tremendously in terms of volume, as well as number of booths and participating countries.

“CSAEXPO offers us an excellent opportunity to not only introduce our products to the Chinese market, but to South Asian nations and even European countries, which also attended the event.”

He added that Cambodian manufacturers should take advantage of their experience at the expo to ramp up the quality of their products, particularly when it comes to packaging and aesthetics.

“It is important that we take a thorough look at our unique selling points and our traditional products to differentiate ourselves from the competition.

“To compete with similar products from neighbouring nations, we need to make our products more attractive and appealing to international consumers,” Mr Dara said.

“Cambodia has strong potential to do well in events like this because we have excellent rice, cassava, fruits, jewellery and gems,” he added.

The commerce official said events like CSAEXPO can play an important role in improving diplomatic and trade relations between participating nations.

“Expos like this are very helpful when it comes to improving our trade relations. In this case, I am sure our trade with China will be stronger as a result,” he said, adding that China is the biggest investors in the Kingdom, and that it is in Cambodia’s best interest to strengthen that economic relation.

“Also, this event will help up gain access to European markets for many of our products,” he added.

Mr Dara said there are many similar expos held throughout China, but that Kunming’s CSAEXPO, together with another trade fair held in the city of Nanning, are by far the best.

One of the Cambodian entrepreneurs displaying products at CSAEXPO was Vann Marady, who brought to the event an array of handmade silverware products.

“This exhibition gives me the opportunity to show my products to international buyers,” she said. “I am proud when foreigners come to see my products and they know they are made in Cambodia.”

Mr Marady said her products sold very well during the seven-day event, and added that she was looking forward to returning next year.

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