On 19 February 2020, DFDL Cambodia was pleased to sponsor BritCham Cambodia’s latest breakfast event and panel discussion “Beyond Brexit” at the Palace Gate Hotel in Phnom Penh.
Clint O’Connell, DFDL Partner and Cambodia Head of the Tax Practice along with key industry experts gave the 20+ participants an update on recent Brexit developments, underexplored investment opportunities in Cambodia and how the UK could open new trade links with Cambodia. This comes in light of the UK’s departure from the European Union and its new found ability to forge independent trade deals and partnerships with nations far and wide.
The panelists discussed various sectors of the Cambodian economy worthy of further exploration.
These ranged from tourism, education and construction to high value added agricultural products, food processing, modern farming techniques (high tech machinery imports) and underexploited markets.
One noteworthy example raised was how most of Cambodia’s annual 1.2 million ton fragrant jasmine rice crop ends up being exported to its neighboring countries in its unprocessed form. This highly prized rice ends up being polished then repackaged as Thai or Vietnamese rice and sold abroad for considerable margins, an opportunity being missed by the country to profit more from a domestically cultivated product.
Clint discussed the investment and tax regime of Cambodia casting attention upon its various incentives to draw foreign investment such as the qualified investment project (“QIP”) program, business friendly regime and ease of access to key ministerial decision-makers and government departments. He also outlined Cambodia’s generally favorable investment and regulatory climate when compared to other ASEAN states.
The audience gave very favorable feedback and had the chance to network and learn more about the UK market over coffees and a light breakfast in a relaxed and comfortable setting.