Pramaha Min Putthithanasombat* and Petcharat Lovichakorntikul**
School of Management, Shinawatra International University, Bangkok, Thailand
*Pramaha Min Putthithanasombat, is a Doctoral Candidate at Shinawatra International University, Bangkok, Thailand, Temple address: 147 Moo 7 Kabin Buri District, Prachin Buri 25110, Tel: + 66-92-509-8899, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Petcharat Lovichakorntikul is a Doctoral Candidate at Shinawatra International University, Bangkok, Thailand, Home address: 25 Vibhavadi-Rangsit 44 Road, Latyao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Tel: + 66-86-303-5067, e-mail: email@example.com
In 2012, economic growth in Cambodia increased to 7.3%, which was the second rank in Asia behind only Laos. Low labour costs were combined with increases in inward investment, trade and the industrial production base for promoting further exports. Last year, Korean investment in Cambodia was the highest of any country. A total of US$287 million was invested by Korean companies, mostly in the textile and tourism industries. There were also several joint ventures between the Cambodian government and Korean companies, Lees A&A and Cmko Airport, to build a new international airport in Siem Reap, as part of a development that will cost more than US$30 billion. To promote further Korean investment, the Cambodian government has issued a Memorandum of Understanding to provide privileged rights to Korean investors. More than 3.6 million visitors came to Cambodia in 2012, which represents an increase of 24.4% from 2011. Although the highest cohort of visitors came from Vietnam, Korea was second with some 400,000 tourists travelling from there. The tourism business is, therefore, booming, in terms of accommodation (hotels, guest houses and homestays), travel (rented buses, cars and boats), food and beverages and other service sector operations (restaurants, coffee shop, spa and massage) and other businesses (tourism and tourist guide training schools). There are, therefore, good opportunities for Korean investors to expand their business in Cambodia in these areas. Investment in the tourism sector will appeal not just to other Koreans but international visitors from around the world, as well as the emerging Cambodian middle class. In this paper, the prospects for opening Korean restaurants in Cambodia will be explored and assessment made of the opportunities and threats of doing business there. There are some hidden costs, problems with the largely unskilled labour force, complicated operational processes involved in dealing with government bureau and support services.
Keywords: Cambodia, Korean restaurant, investment
This is another of the papers to be presented at the forthcoming International Workshop on Korean Trade and Investment in the Mekong Region.