Phnom Penh, Cambodia, under support of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and German Academic Exchange (DAAD), the Cambodian-German Friendship Association (KDF) organized its first alumni talk on the topic “Entrepreneurship in the Context of ASEAN Economic Community and Business Opportunity” at Cambodian German Cultural Center (Metahouse). The event aimed at discussing among association members and alumni the complete business of running small and medium business know-how and its practices in Cambodia and across countries in the region focusing on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The talk attracted over seventy guests whom are association members and alumni with strong interest in entrepreneurship and starting up own business. Moreover, there were three booths from association members to present their product and services to the audiences.
Opening the event, H.E. Joachim Baron von Marschall, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Kingdom of Cambodia, drew attention of guests toward the enabling legal framework as well as the political landscape for European companies to make investments in ASEAN and, specifically, in Cambodia.
When the session panelist discussion started, the alumni, majority of whom are running family businesses, actively raised up many critical questions in business related and real life cases to the five panelists who are leading Cambodian and Vietnamese SMEs in different sectors.
Among many topics, the discussions addressed around the factors are of turning point to switch from family based to SMEs, experiences associated to agro-tourism and agro-business. Besides that the lesson-learnt from start-up’s failures, strategies to cope with stream of competitiveness among AEC, and how Cambodian enterprises are able to reap the potential benefits from the ASEAN integration within the framework of the ASEAN Single Market through the free(er) flow of services, investment and qualified labour, the panelist Ms. Nguyen Mai Lan – Deputy Director of ICE Hanoi Vietnam brought attention of guests to each country strengths and Mr. Ieang Sotheara – President of Ieng Groups also raised an example of vegetables that Cambodia in five years from now cannot compete on quantity but quality, these were hot topics.
Sessional participants showed great interest in the topic and they continued their lively discussion during the Alumni networking dinner.
On April 28th, 2016, Kdei Karuna (KdK) – a partner organization of CPS – implemented a Youth Community Dialogue at Phnom Trung Bat crime site in Kralanh district, Siem Reap province, giving survivors of the Khmer Rouge crime site and local high school students the unique opportunity to speak about the past. Approximately 80 persons participated in the fruitful dialogue event where survivors shared their experiences from the past, addressing the history of the crime site and their home community.
On April 28th, 2016, Kdei Karuna (KdK) – a partner organization of CPS – implemented a Youth Community Dialogue at Phnom Trung Bat crime site in Kralanh district, Siem Reap province, giving survivors of the Khmer Rouge crime site and local high school students the unique opportunity to speak about the past. Approximately 80 persons participated in the fruitful dialogue event where survivors shared their experiences from the past, addressing the history of the crime site and their home community. KdK staff developed a forum theatre play together with students focusing on the topic of forced marriage and forced labor, and, after its presentation, conducted a lively discussion among the survivors and students on how to prevent similar crimes from happening in the future.
One of the survivors appealed to the students: “Please, you should believe what your parents and grand-parents tell you about their experiences from the past. Their stories are true!”
A 13-year-old student expressed his feelings: “I feel angry when I hear all the misery that happened during the Khmer Rouge regime, but I will not hate nor seek for revenge. I will study hard and commit myself to peace and unity for my country“.
The dialogue event concluded with the screening of a documentary film about the Khmer Rouge times, followed by a feedback and reflection round.
The Youth Community Dialogue is part of KdK’s community-led Community Memory Initiative. It promotes restorative justice and local memory initiatives in order to enable Cambodians and especially Cambodian youth in more rural areas to better understand the Khmer Rouge past. It seeks to overcome social rifts that remain as a legacy of decades of conflict at the community level by fostering mutual understanding and historical dialogue.