On Wednesday 1 March 2017 a new chapter began in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A new Nordic Chamber of Commerce had their very first meeting where they presented their ideas and vision for a chamber in Cambodia.
“To be the platform for engaging with Nordic businesses and activities in Cambodia,” was revealed as their mission statement as Kjeld Olsen, Morten Kvammen and Teemu Jantunen, the three men behind NordCham, held a presentation at the opening.
The opening was held in the stylish space of Black Bambu, where Nordic inspired tapas was served among the 45 people who had showed up to show their interest and have a good time with fellow Scandinavians. It was also announced that NordCham in Cambodia will be working closely together with EuroCham, who has a big influence on Cambodian business life. Arnaud Darc, French entrepreneur and chairman of EuroCham, spoke after the NordCham founders’ presentation and congratulated the initiative.
“We are stronger together. Stronger together as the Nordic Chamber, but with EuroCham we are even stronger and more valuable for European companies in Cambodia,” said Arnaud Darc.
Both the Danish and Swedish Ambassador held speeches and were very fond of the initiative. Uffe Wolffhechel, Ambassador of Denmark to Thailand and Cambodia, was impressed by the strong turnout and praised NordCham as a great initiative that will hopefully create better conditions for Danish and Nordic business in Cambodia.
“I am happy that I got to be here today because if this initiative succeeds, which we all hope it will, then this will be a historical night,” said Wolffhechel.
Maria Sargren, the Swedish Ambassador to Cambodia, was only two weeks into her job as ambassador when Kjeld Olsen contacted her about starting NordCham.
“I think it’s impressive to see what has happened in just a few months and I am very happy to have been able to follow this process. It’s in my interest and the interest of the embassy to continue supporting the Nordic Chamber of Commerce,” said Sargren.
Kjeld Olsen, a Danish entrepreneur who has been in Cambodia for 4 years, is the man who took the very first initiative to start the new Chamber. He started by contacting the different Nordic ambassadors in the area, who were all very supportive of the idea and even set Olsen up with the two other founders, Morten Kvammen from Norway and Teemu Jantunen from Finland.
“I am a business man, and if we can create a network like NordCham then there are great opportunities that it will create business for everyone,” said Olsen about starting the Chamber.
Olsen hopes that there will soon be a representative from each country for NordCham and encouraged the Swedes present to contact him if they were interested in joining him, Kvammen and Jantunen. It seemed to pay off as they are now talking to a possible Swedish representative, whose name Olsen has not yet revealed.
The Nordic Chamber of Commerce will soon be organising breakfast events with CEO’s, evening networking events, company visits and evening forums to engage in business relations. However, they also hope to be able to host several social events such as crayfish parties, Lucia parades, Christmas lunch and even a party inspired by the Nordic Vikings.
“We have to come up with something that all the Nordic countries have in common, but is still different from what EuroCham is doing,” Olsen said about his plans for events.