Phnom Penh, 20 December 2023 ̶ On 15 December 2023, the first provincial SME Export Talk Series was conducted in Siem Reap. The event, themed “Getting Ready for Export”, familiarized participating Cambodian SMEs with necessary information and tips to thrive in international export markets.
In partnership with the Siem Reap-Oddor Meanchey Chamber of Commerce (SROCC), ARISE Plus Cambodia, GIZ-supported ICONE program and Business Scout for Development Cambodia, the event hosted approximately 80 participants, both in-person and virtually. The participants were provided with presentations on introduction to exports, criteria for assessing their export-readiness, export procedures and import requirements in destination markets, and practical experiences of successful SME exporters, including the opportunities and challenges in development of export markets.
The event kicked off with introduction remarks from Ms. Marie Hoffmann, the Private Sector Development Advisor of the GIZ-supported ICONE program. She emphasized the significance of exports for Cambodian SMEs, citing the global market potential for high-quality Cambodian products, particularly in the European Union (EU), the ability of Cambodian SMEs to exploit this potential, the socio-economic benefits, and the potential impact on rural value chains.
She also stressed the importance of obtaining validated and accurate information for SMEs to successfully prepare for exports and encouraged the participants to gain and fully utilize all insights shared by the present experts to get ready and achieve export goals.
Mr. Phoek Sotheara, the SROCC Vice President, stated the significance of organizing this information-and-experience-sharing event and called for full participation of the SME participants to familiarize themselves with all necessary criteria and requirements, should they consider getting into exports as beginners, or expanding already ongoing exports.
In a later session, the participants were introduced to an ‘Export Readiness Initial Assessment Tool’. This tool helps assess their readiness for export by considering their competitive capabilities, motivation, and commitment to going international. It includes a reality check on whether their products are ready for foreign markets, and whether they have the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources.
The session also provided an example of the export process and import requirements for the European market. This covered an overview of Cambodia’s trade partners, product trends in the European market, legal requirements, contaminants, packaging, product labeling, and more.
In the panel discussion and Q&A session at the end of the event, a few common tips for export preparation were shared by the panelists and the audience. First, it is key to understand the legislation and requirements of the product in the export country. Second, extensive market research is highly recommended. Building resources and capacities is important as well as exposure to potential networks, such as attending trad-related events, can be beneficial. Seeking advice from experienced exporters and professional consultants can provide valuable insights. It is also advised to maintain strong and professional company and product profiles, both online and offline. Most importantly, exporters need to be proactive and should not hesitate to reach out to all business partners and stakeholders involved. Some related knowledge resources were shared and can be found here: http://adw-cambodia.org/resources/market-information/
Co-funded by the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the ARISE Plus Cambodia supports this initiative as part of its key support to enhance private sector engagement and better preparedness for the ASEAN Economic Community’s seamless, single economic space.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Kamrang Ke
Advisor –Trade-related Coordination and Transparency