The European Chamber of Commerce launched the Central and Eastern European Business Association (CEEBAC) on Thursday, 11 May at an exclusive “A Night out in Europe” event to be hosted at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh as part of Europe Week 2023.
CEEBAC is EuroCham’s newest national chapter, joining the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Cambodia (CCIFC), the British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, NordCham, the Italian-Cambodian Business Association, and Benelux Cambodia. Before the event Thursday night, CEEBAC held its inaugural AGM at the EuroCham to discuss the chamber’s statutes and vision.
The driving factor behind launching CEEBAC was the desire to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the region and Cambodia, reinvigorating a connection that dates back to at least the 1960s. King Norodom Sihamoni studied in Prague from 1962 to 1975, speaks fluent Czech, and has referred to the Czech Republic as his second home.
Pi Pay CEO and serial entrepreneur, Tomas Pokorny, who have been elected interim chairman of CEEBAC, said he is excited for the potential of CEEBAC to play a role in fostering a stronger relationship between his home country and Cambodia. “With this new chapter extended to Central and Eastern European countries, EuroCham in Cambodia reasserts its leadership as a business platform, unlocking economic opportunity for companies located in two of the world’s most prominent markets.”, Pokorny said. Cambodia’s ideal geographic location makes it an even stronger potential partner, Pokorny added.
Vladimir Nodzak, Director of Kokopon Global and Founder of Brainchain, who have been elected interim CEEBAC Secretary General, will now have the responsibility to organize a General Assembly in the next three months to elect a Board of directors from a pool of 30 CEEBAC members.
EU Ambassador to Cambodia Her Excellency Carmen Moreno spoke at the event, welcoming the newest EuroCham chapter. She said the launching of CEEBAC proves the growing interest that Cambodia has for European Companies. Cambodia’s export industry Is dynamic and attractive and offers untapped potential in many sectors.
EuroCham Chairman Tassilo Brinzer said CEEBAC will further strengthen already strong ties between Cambodia and Europe. “Launching CEEBAC provides another platform to strengthen economic partnerships between even more countries in Europe and Cambodia and offers opportunities for more bilateral engagement with support from EuroCham Cambodia. It enables us to coordinate interest more effectively from and exchange with these nations on all matters relating to investment, trade, and economic interactions between them and Cambodia. They each have a small number of members in Cambodia, while being major players within the EU. Having them collaborate more on our operations while also planning their own events and trade trips would be extremely beneficial to our efforts. Together with our other founding and national chapters, the French, German, British, Italian, Benelux and Nordic we now have almost all 27 members states represented with their own grouping, which allows for a more efficient promotion of their markets and activities”, he added.
A list of countries to be supported by CEEBAC include Bulgaria, Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.