business

New Book to Help Foreigners Navigate Cambodia’s Business Sector

Essential Cambodia aims to help foreign investors and business people navigate Cambodia successfully, featuring interviews with 20 prominent business people.
Allen Dodgson Tan with quest of honour at book launch, Steven Path, CEO of Pathmazing, Tean Ly, Managing Director of Seeva Capital, and Tassilo Brinzer, Chairman of EuroCham. Picture: supplied
Allen Dodgson Tan with quest of honour at book launch, Steven Path, CEO of Pathmazing, Tean Ly, Managing Director of Seeva Capital, and Tassilo Brinzer, Chairman of EuroCham. Picture: supplied

A book has been launched to help foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and managers thrive in Cambodia.

Essential Cambodia was launched on Saturday by Cambodian American entrepreneur Allen Dodgson Tan, who said the book represents the country's business situation.

Former president of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Cambodia, Tan moved to Cambodia 12 years ago for the first time and said he had worked hard to understand how to navigate a system and culture he did not naturally understand.

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Tan said in a speech at the launch ceremony at SOSORO Museum in Phnom Penh that while it is true that much work remains to be done in improving Cambodia, there are many unique opportunities.

“My hope is that this book will help foreigners working in Cambodia to be successful and thrive in the Kingdom. Cambodia is naturally a foreigner-friendly country that welcomes businesses from across the globe. Many of the frustrations that our foreign guests experience come from simple misunderstandings that can be easily corrected,” Tan said.

“My purpose in writing this book was to provide a resource for those new to the Kingdom, so they may learn from the decades of experience I have learned from,” he added.

Tan said that the insights shared in Essential Cambodia come from more than 20 interviews with successful foreign and local businesspeople, as well as conversations with those across the business community.

Essential Cambodia focuses on the overall business landscape and culture rather than legal and regulatory aspects of business. The book highlights potential differences in thinking between European/American mindsets and local customs and norms, Tan said.

He added that one of his key observations of those who are not successful in Cambodia is that they spend much of their energy fighting against the system in a negative manner and complaining about how everyone is doing things the “wrong way”.

“While these individuals may be factually correct, it is rarely a productive strategy,” Tan said.