Phnom Penh, Cambodia – As part of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s visit to Cambodia, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual joined the President during the CEO roundtable meeting with Cambodia business leaders on 10 November 2022.
During the meeting, President Marcos encouraged Cambodian businesses to consider business opportunities in the Philippines as the country aims to further develop its manufacturing sector. “I do not talk about recovery of the economy, I talk about transformation of the economy because the new economy is going to be different from everything that we did in 2019. And so this is what we are looking forward to and I hope to see you all in the Philippines soon,” Marcos said.
Likewise, Trade Secretary Pascual described the CEO roundtable meeting as an avenue for business leaders from both countries, to connect and seize a visible surge of development in both economies.
The Philippine trade chief said, “For the DTI, we note the sectors represented by our friends from Cambodia: logistics, hospitality, retail, pharmaceutical manufacturing, IT and business process outsourcing, and startup development. These very well match our priorities back in the Philippines too.“
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the Cambodian side, Mr. Rithy Sear, Chairman of the Worldbridge Group said that while Cambodia is a small country relative to the Philippines, he believes there are many ways the two countries can learn from each other and work together.
“Many of the same industries that the Philippines has excelled in can be developed here in Cambodia, not as competition to Filipino companies, but as complementary extensions of existing operations and supply chains; adding resilience and increased capacity to serve ASEAN and the global markets,” Mr. Sear emphasized.
Mr. Sear added, “In terms of serving the ASEAN domestic market, Cambodia is centrally located between Thailand and Vietnam. This provides an advantage for the distribution of goods manufactured in Cambodia, taking advantage of RCEP.”
President Marcos also touted the recent Philippines’ economic achievements, particularly the drop in the unemployment rate for the 3rd quarter this year to 5 percent from 5.7 percent last quarter.