Germany is planning to open its first chamber of commerce in Cambodia to increase bilateral trade and bring in investment.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen, newly-appointed German Ambassador to Cambodia Christian Berger said it would be a positive move.
“German investors have been impressed with the rapid growth of Cambodia’s economy. With that economic performance, they are considering investing and doing business in the country,” he told premier Hun Sen during the meeting on Tuesday.
There are fears Germany could fall into its first recession in six years so it is keen to boost its economy.
Mr Hun Sen highlighted the trade development between Cambodia and Germany which has enjoyed a remarkable increase in recent years.
“Cambodia has experienced strong growth in exports, especially garments and footwear products to Germany. At the same time, Cambodia also imports a lot of products from Germany which includes automobiles and beers,” he said.
“There is potential for even more trade between Cambodia and Germany and more room for growth,” said Mr Hun Sen.
However, there is a hitch. The Kingdom is located between Thailand and Vietnam where several German companies have already established regional headquarters and product facilities, according to a research study by Dezan Shira & Associates, the multi-disciplinary professional services firm, providing legal, tax and operational advice to international corporate investors.
“Despite this, the option of investing in Cambodia has increasingly drawn the attention of German companies owing to the country’s low wages and proximity to manufacturing sites in Thailand,” research revealed.
Cambodia’s growing middle-income consumer class, with its increasing desire for better lifestyle products, also makes Cambodia attractive to German companies, according to the report.
In 2017, Germany imported $1.7 billion worth of goods from Cambodia while exporting $286.7 million, it noted.
There was no response from the German Business Group in Cambodia (Arbeitskreis Deutsche Wirtschaf, also known as ADW) by press time.
According to its website, ADW has 31 German-run business members including leading local companies.