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Phnom Penh hosting ‘Made in Siem Reap’ fair 

Husain Haider / Khmer Times Share:
A Cambodian-style mask used during live performances of the Ramayana Hindu epic. Siem Reap's economy is reeling due to the sharp drop in foreign tourists during the pandemic.

The capital will be host to the best of Siem Reap’s artisans as 19 exhibitors show their wares this weekend at the first-ever ‘Made in Siem Reap Fair’.

Held in cooperation with the French Chamber of Commerce, Industry in Cambodia and Beyond Retail Business (BRB) Cambodia, the fair is intended to promote Siem Reap’s struggling economy, BRB Cambodia founding partner Anne Laure Bartenay told Khmer Times.

Bartenay’s consultancy firm specializes in helping small businesses gain access to local and international markets.

Siem Reap, the Kingdom’s most popular destination for international travelers has seen a drastic decline in international visitors. Its main draw, the Angkor Archeological Park garnered just $18.65 million in ticket sales in 2020, down 91 percent from 2019.

At the forefront of those suffering are vendors who rely on tourists to sustain their livelihoods.

“We aim to showcase high-quality handmade products and our ambition is to demonstrate that Cambodian products are as good as imported ones,” said Bartenay.

Khmer Times reported in June of last year that nearly 3,999 tourism-related businesses in Cambodia had closed, resulting in more than 45,000 job losses. Initiatives have now turned to help develop the Kingdom’s domestic market for travel and locally made goods.

The Siem Reap division of the French Chamber of Commerce in sponsoring the event is hoping to support its members by presenting the domestic market a taste of what the city has to offer.

Exhibitors will range from entrepreneurs specialising in handicrafts to artisanal chocolatiers. They include Ammo Designs, Rokhak Women Handicraft, Esprit Libre, NS Shop Scrup, Norea, Sra Thnam, Artisans d’Angkor, Qbee, Wat Chocolate, Kambio Nature, Eric Raisina, Senteurs d’Angkor, Maison Sirivan, Bandrui, Oko Gallery, Morodock Ceramics, Soieries du Mekong, Seung Khmer Design and Garden of Desire.

The fair will be held on Saturday Jan 30th and Sunday, Jan 31st on the first floor of 313 Quay Sisowath. Entrance is free.

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