American goods and services are well regarded in Cambodia; as such, Cambodian firms are increasingly interested in becoming agents of or distributors for U.S. companies. U.S. companies should conduct due diligence on potential local partners to ensure they have the necessary credentials and qualifications to conduct business. U.S. companies should also ensure that the partnership agreements they put into place comply with Cambodian law, thoroughly document the rights and obligations of each party and clearly stipulate dispute resolution procedures.
Distribution & Sales Channels
Cambodia places minimal restrictions on foreign participation in the import/export and distribution sectors. Cambodia’s retail landscape is undergoing rapid transformation. In addition to stalls and shops at traditional markets, goods are increasingly sold at small-scale Western-style shopping malls, convenience stores, and supermarkets that cater mostly to wealthy Cambodians, the urban middle class, and expatriates. Importers can apply for exclusive rights to import brand-name products from the Ministry of Commerce. Brand owners can also open their own rep office in the country with 100 percent foreign ownership; partner with local companies in the form of joint venture; or appoint local companies as their distributors or franchisees. Working with local partners are recommended as they would have better knowledge about local market requirement and business customs. However, it is strongly recommended that U.S. brand owners conduct due diligence on their business partners and agents and work with legal firm to ensure legitimacy and reduce risk. Door-to-door delivery services have gained popularity in Cambodia.
For the latest Investment Climate Statement (ICS) which includes information on investment and business environments in foreign economies pertinent to establishing and operating an office and to hiring employees, visit the U.S. Department of Department of State’s Investment Climate Statements website.