This November, the stage is set for the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce in California to host its first ever business exposition and trade show, connecting Cambodian businesses with hopeful US partners.
With eyes set on strengthening business relations between Cambodia and the United States, the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce in California (CCCC) has recently announced plans for hosting its inaugural business expo known as SHOWCASE! 2023. Set to take place on November 9th and 10th, 2023 in Long Beach, California, the CCCC promises to connect leading companies in Cambodia with potential investors and business partners in the United States to form new relationships and strengthen business development.
The United States has a significant trade deficit with Cambodia, importing $6.6 billion worth in goods from Cambodia in 2020 while exporting a mere $344 million to the Southeast Asian nation. The vast majority of US imports from Cambodia are apparel related, with many companies in the country operating as contract manufacturers for large international brands such as Adidas, H&M, and Uniqlo.
However, despite the prominence of clothing-related goods in US-Cambodian trade, apparel represents only a fraction of what Cambodia has to offer. Emerging industries in Cambodia include vehicle manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and tourism. To highlight these exciting trends to American investors and businesses, SHOWCASE! 2023 will bring together 150 Cambodian companies for American businesses to network with.
The event is currently slated to feature speakers from Cambodia’s ministries of commerce and tourism. Event organizers, including the CCCC and the Honorary Consul General of Cambodia Hout Kim Chha, are hoping to present business ventures in Cambodia as viable and worthwhile investments. The ultimate goal is to provide an accessible venue to market Cambodian goods to potential American buyers while forging strong business connections between individual companies from each nation. “Attendees will have the opportunity to explore and experience products such as distinctive Cambodian food items, including rice, pepper, cashew nuts, and a host of other unique products,” according to Kim Chha.
As Cambodia seeks to transition from its least developed country status by 2027, it will lose its “Most-Favored Nation” treatment and preferential trade status with a number of countries and regions. In order to mitigate the potential economic windfalls, Cambodia is working on reducing production costs and increasing trade volume. Therefore, events such as SHOWCASE! 2023 are vital not only in helping Cambodia achieve these concrete economic goals, but also in creating global awareness about Cambodia’s rich products and abundant potential.
Cecilia Winchell is a participant in the Young Professionals Program at the East-West Center in Washington. She is a recent graduate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Public Policy.