Cambodia is a major exporter of rice, but it goes to Vietnam for processing. Our suggestion is to import so that the Philippine companies can process the rice, says Concepcion, chairman of ABAC
CAMBODIA presents promising opportunities for small and big businesses in the Philippines, Go Negosyo founder Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd said following the recently concluded Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
Concepcion, chairman of the Asean Business Advisory Council (ABAC), said that several expansion and export opportunities in Cambodia for Philippine companies were explored during the CEO Roundtable meeting held on the sidelines of the Asean Summit in Phnom Penh on November 10, which President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. attended.
He said that areas of cooperation in agriculture, housing, digitalisation, food security, hospitality, garments manufacturing, business process outsourcing, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) development were among the priority areas discussed during the meeting.
Agriculture, in particular, is seen as a promising area of cooperation between the two countries, Concepcion said.
“Cambodia is a big exporter of rice, but it goes through Vietnam for processing. Our suggestion is to import so that the Philippine companies can process the rice,” he said.
Concepcion shared that the Cambodian businessmen were receptive to the idea, and even offered technology exchange between the two countries.
“Cambodia is very good at growing rice, and we could learn from them,” the Go Negosyo founder added.
The CEO Roundtable meeting was the first engagement of Marcos during the Asean summit. The private meeting was attended by Cambodian and Philippine business leaders who discussed opportunities for business exchange between the two economies.
Also attending the meeting were Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s George Barcelon, LT Group’s Mike Tan, Go Negosyo senior adviser Josephine Romero, and the Philippine winners of the Asean Business Awards 2022.
During the meeting, the Philippine group also invited Cambodian businessmen to invest in the Philippines and partner with Philippine businesses.
Concepcion said several opportunities for business exchange emerged for big and small businesses alike.
SMEs from the Philippines, namely Felta Multimedia, Home Healthlink and Esquire Financing, who were also winners of the Asean Business Awards, said that they are looking for partners to expand both in the Philippines and within Asean.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Cambodian garments industry association commended the logistics support from Philippine cargo and mobility facilities, in particular Philippine Airlines, which, he said, helped them not only with cargo, but also with the transport of the designers and other technical people between the two countries.
The Philippines and Cambodia are also together in a campaign to get their respective garments exported at zero rates in the US’ generalised System of Preferences so that these may be imported by US brands at zero, or near zero taxes.