The following are answers to frequently asked questions.
If you don't see your question in the list below, please feel free to contact us.
EuroCham is a business association, which aims to promote the interest of European businesses operating in Cambodia, facilitate the entry of European companies into the market and create a supportive network among corporate and individual members alike.
EuroCham was inaugurated in June 2011 with the support of the three founding European Business Organisations: the “Chambre de Commerce et de l’Industrie Franco-Cambodgienne”, the “Arbeitskreis Deutche Wirtschaft” and the “British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia”.
As of July 2015, the Chamber counted 200 members: 45 EuroCham direct members, 128 belonging to the French chapter, 20 to the German one and 8 through BritCham.
You can contact EuroCham filling this form.
If you wish to meet our team we kindly ask you to set a meeting beforehand through the above contact.
The Chamber is located at 33, Sothearos –corner of street 178, in Phnom Penh.
The office is open from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 18:00.
Here below a brief list of membership benefits:
- Be part of the widest western business association in Cambodia
- Participation in EuroCham sectorial Committees
- Contribution in EuroCham White Book
- Discounted rates for participating in EuroCham events
- Discounted rates for all services provided by the Chamber
- Invitations to meet with visiting delegations and trade missions
- Access to member shape services
- Updates on tender opportunities and business developments
- Full page company description in EuroCham Directory
- Promotion and free posting job offers in EuroCham website
CORPORATE – Companies with more than 50 employees must apply to a Corporate EuroCham Membership
NGO/ SME/ INDIVIDUALS – NGOs, PROFESSIONALS and SME (Companies with less than 50 employees) can apply to NGO/SME/ INDIVIDUALS EuroCham Membership
THROUGH BRITCHAM – Britcham members enjoy a 50% discount on EuroCham membership
Only business-oriented NGOs can apply for a EuroCham Membership.
Yes, professionals are welcomed to join EuroCham and contribute to its activities.
Applicants have the right to choose between a direct membership or through a national chapter.
Both preferences allow the member to enjoy the full EuroCham membership.
If the applicant wishes to join the activities of a national chapter, its preference should be indicated while applying.
Yes, BritCham members enjoy a 50% discount on EuroCham membership. EuroCham members through BritCham are not entitled to vote.
Membership will last one calendar year, from January to December. Applications received from July onwards will be subjected to pro-rata rates.
Once received, the membership application will be submitted to the attention of the Board, which will make a final decision within 2 weeks’ time.
All EuroCham members are listed in our website.
Moreover, detailed information can be found in Directory's printed version.
As part of its mandate to service members and attract more European investors in the Kingdom, EuroCham has developed an Advocacy pillar dedicated to promoting dialogue with our Cambodian counterparts, both within the Royal Government and the private sector. In order to provide an effective advocacy, EuroCham has established sectorial committees for its members to address common issues and propose solutions to the Cambodian government.
For more information please visit the dedicated page on our website.
Each Committee independently sets its advocacy goals, defines its membership fee and secedes on its internal working procedures. In addition to publishing an annual position paper on the main issues affecting the sector, the Committees are encouraged to generate events and other public affairs initiatives on behalf of EuroCham.
A Business Visa (E) should be asked while entering the Country.
No, only business visa holders are entitled to work.
No, all the mentioned activities require a business visa (E).
No, if you wish to replace a Tourist Visa (T) with a Business one (E), you should leave the Country and apply for a Business Visa while entering the Country.
Yes, everyone working in Cambodia is required to hold a work permit.
Applying for a work permit requires several steps through the Ministry of Interior and its generally carry out by employers. Here below the compulsory documents for applying:
- 3 sets of Application Form as issued by the Ministry of Interior
- Passport with valid visa
- 3 photographs (4×6), taken from the front without hat or glasses
- Certificate of Health from a physician in Cambodia
- Written work contract
- Insurance policy issued by employer or any insurance company
- Annual fee of 100 Usd
Yes, the work permit requirement is retroactive. A quota of 100 Usd has to be paid for each year of missed pay.
To open a bank account in Cambodia the following documents are needed:
- Passport with 6 months of validity left
- Business Visa (E)
- A copy of the employment contract
- A copy of the lease contract
Cambodia is an unsaturated market with huge potential for future growth that offers a number of competitive advantages to investors. These include preferential access to major international markets including the EU and the USA, a strategic geographic location in the heart of Southeast Asia, favorable demographics, a competitive labor force, low tax rates, and one of the most business-friendly governments within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The EuroCham team has a wealth of knowledge about the local market which enables us to provide useful information for investors seeking to establish a business in Cambodia. This includes advice on practical matters such as business registration as well as specific market intelligence which can be obtained through our Services team. Through our membership network we have strong connections throughout the country and can facilitate in identifying prospective business partners or service providers. Prospective investors seeking assistance from are encouraged to contact EuroCham as a first point of contact.
Setting up a business in Cambodia requires registration with three government departments – documents must be filed with the Ministry of Commerce at least 15 days prior to the beginning of business operations, followed by registration with the relevant taxation department and, if intending to employ staff, with the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT). Within certain sectors, additional specific licenses are required.
The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report gives Cambodia a poor score when comparing the time and cost of complying with the Kingdom’s business registration processes with those of other countries. Those unfamiliar with the system can encounter unexpected costs and delays if trying to navigate the registration process themselves. Accordingly, EuroCham recommends the hiring of a qualified local representative to ensure that the registration process proceeds as smoothly as possible. We will happily provide a list of trusted and reliable service providers to assist in this process.
Cambodia has recorded two decades of consistent economic growth, based upon ‘four pillars’ that represent the driving force behind the economy: garments, agriculture, tourism and construction. Garments represents a large proportion of the country’s merchandise exports (around 79% as of 2014), whilst the agricultural sector is the largest source of employment and a key industry for both exports and domestic consumption. Tourism figures continue to increase every year and there is major investment in residential and commercial property in Phnom Penh and other urban areas as well as public infrastructure investments supported by international donors.There has been progress in recent years in diversifying Cambodia’s economy and new opportunities are opening up in sectors such as light manufacturing, mining, energy, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and food and beverages.
Cambodia has one of the most competitive tax systems within the region. The standard corporate tax rate is 20% on profits – within ASEAN, only Singapore offers a lower rate. Businesses are also required to pay VAT of 10% on goods and services sold, import and export duties where applicable, an annual patent tax of 1.14 million KHR (approx. 285 USD) and a one-off business registration tax of 1 million KHR (approx. 250 USD). Tax on Salary, calculated according to a cumulative progressive scale, is withheld by employers from employees’ paychecks and remitted to the applicable taxation department.
The Royal Government recognizes the negative impact that non-transparent practices by public officials can have upon the national economy and has in recent years been undergoing substantial reforms in order to address the issue. EuroCham Cambodia has signed a Memorandum of Understand with the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the Ministry of Commerce and encourages any investors being encouraged to engage in non-transparent practices to work with us in reporting such activities to the ACU.
Only Cambodian nationals and companies who are at least 51% owned by Cambodian nationals are permitted to own land in Cambodia. This represents the only restriction placed upon foreign-owned businesses in the Kingdom – in all other aspects they are able to engage in the same activities as Cambodian-owned companies.
However, there are legal structures in place that enable foreigners to gain de facto control over land, such as the creation of a land-holding company or the signing of a long-term lease agreement. EuroCham Cambodia will be happy to provide a list of qualified legal services firms who can assist you in managing risks relating to land ownership and management.
As part of the criteria for Cambodia’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2004, the Royal Government has enacted a number of IPR laws based upon international norms including copyright protection and exclusive rights on trademarks, patents and geographical indicators. Foreign investors considering applying for IPR protection can find detailed information at factsheet/Welcome Pack.
Whilst the body of IPR laws has been developed with World Trade Organization assistance and is broadly in line with international standards, enforceability can be problematic and in some industries such as garments, alcohol and pharmaceuticals, IPR infringement is rife.
The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) scheme was introduced in December 2005 with the objective of concentrating infrastructural and administrative resources in order to reduce barriers to doing business and render the Cambodian investment landscape more competitive. There are currently 30 SEZs authorized throughout the country, mostly around Phnom Penh and near to international borders with Thailand and Vietnam. Each Zone is a secure area with its own utilities and with its own dedicated administrative team tasked with assisting resident businesses.
Businesses operating within the SEZs gain from both infrastructural and administrative benefits. The SEZs tend to have better access to roads and ports and often have independent power and water supplies to ensure that business operations can proceed without hindrance. On the administrative side, SEZs are subject to separate regulatory regimes which can reduce costs and/or improve efficiency. Benefits for businesses located within SEZs include a 0% VAT rate, streamlined customs procedures, full import duty exemptions and access to a ‘one-stop service’ team to assist in navigating the Kingdom’s bureaucracy and to troubleshoot any problems.
The Qualified Investment Project (QIP) scheme is another initiative of the Royal Government to attract foreign investment. Investment projects whose value exceeds a certain threshold (varying by sector) can apply to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) for certification as a QIP. Companies who successfully navigate the QIP application process can benefit from some considerable benefits, including the choice between a profit-tax holiday and special depreciation allowances aimed at businesses needing to import significant volumes of equipment and materials for construction or manufacturing purposes. QIPs are also eligible for import-export exemptions.
Most goods being imported into Cambodia are subject to import duties ranging between 0% and 35%. Goods exempt from import duties include school facilities, medicines, sports equipment, fertilizer, rice seeds and agricultural tractors, as well as exemptions granted by the Cambodian Development Council as part of a Qualified Investment Project.
Export duties apply to only a select few items including timber, rubber, uncut precious stones and aquatic products.
The ‘Customs Tariff of Cambodia’ annual report, containing complete listings of tariff rates, can be purchased at the General Department of Customs and Excise. Additional regulations on tariff rates can be requested electronically through the Ministry of Economy and Finance website.
‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) is a strand of the European Union’s ‘Generalised System of Preferences’ (GSP), under which less economically developed countries are granted privileged access to the European single market. Cambodia is considered by the EU as a ‘least-developed country’ and therefore benefits from the EBA policy which enables Cambodia to import almost any product to the European Union duty-free and quota-free. The scheme provides a competitive advantage to Cambodia over countries not eligible for the scheme. For example, import tax for garments to the EU is typically set at 12%, whilst for shoes it is 17%. Purchasers of Cambodian garments and shoes are not required to pay these taxes, making Cambodian products more attractive. 80% of Cambodia’s growth in exports since 2007 has been targeted towards markets offering preferential access. Within ASEAN, only Laos and Myanmar benefit from similar preferential market access.
In order to benefit from EBA and other preferential market access schemes, exporters must comply with the Rule of Origin (ROO) requirements stipulated by the market offering preferential access.
Under the EU’s GSP, exported products have to originate from the beneficiary country. To be considered as originating in the country of export, products have to meet certain requirements. Under the EBA, the ROO requires that at least 40% of the contents of exported products have to originate in the country. Furthermore, the ROO requirements stipulate that products have to be accompanied by a certificate of origin (C/O) Form A (issued by the Ministry of Commerce in the case of Cambodia) or an invoice declaration in order to prove the origin of the imported materials in the beneficiary country, and that they have to be shipped directly to the countries of import.
AEC stands for the ‘ASEAN Economic Community’, a regional economic integration project committed to by the 10 nations of ASEAN including Cambodia. The goal is to create a single Southeast Asian market and production base of over 600 million people with free flow of goods, services, investments, capital, and skilled labor.
The AEC was originally agreed upon in 2007 with a view to implement by 2020, though this has milestone has now been brought forward to 31st December 2015. The key agreements and regulatory reforms to realize AEC are already underway, meaning that no dramatic overnight shift is to be expected upon the date of the AEC’s formal inauguration.
There is ongoing debate as to how AEC’s initiatives will affect SMEs in Cambodia. The country will benefit from reduced trade barriers within ASEAN (though currently Cambodian exports are largely focused towards markets further afield). Potentially, Cambodia could benefit from greater levels of ASEAN connectivity so as to integrate into a regional value chain though the Royal Government recognizes that a number of challenges relating to physical infrastructure and human capital will need to be overcome in order to realize these opportunities.