In recent years, media and corporate newsletters have reported significant progress in the Cambodian economy. With the integration of ASEAN countries, the number of companies that advance into this country is growing because they are attracted to its increasing acceleration of economic growth. This year, when I look at these companies, I feel there are many people that start running businesses without even knowing their physical strength and the realities of this country. In the first place, much of what I hear is reckless talk such as how fledgling business owners count tomorrow’s profits before they have them, or they start their businesses because they see opportunities but don’t know where to get started.
Though there should be different measures of strategies by companies, that part seems to be conducted in a perfunctory manner, as some companies are focused on the long term and making a profit in the next three years, while other companies are looking at the short term that and want to make profits immediately. Some companies have overly ambitious dreams. They think that it would be profitable if a big company is launched, or it would be profitable because of an increase of Japanese people in Cambodia. However, on several occasions, I have encountered a sight where they were appalled realizing that their time was not long enough. Originally, in this magical “abroad”, it is no choice because we thought we have seen ahead 1m even though we only look ahead 50cm. Even so, isn’t the time too short? Of course, I think that exceptional effort is necessary for big companies to aim ahead while making course adjustments and looking ahead to Cambodia in the next three years, but for places that don’t have such flexibility, every day is a vital question. Meanwhile, it has also begun to appear that some are finding a way out by taking a chance with the practices of Cambodia and throwing away the practices in Japan after a hard choice.
When expanding abroad, we tend to focus on appearance by all means and are concerned about the box and the shape. However, for companies establishing a branch office, there is a way to start an establishment after we have accumulated enough know-how first, such as the environment, laws, and customs of that country. However, I think for small boxes or restaurants, there is also another consideration by starting with something like stalls. The capital is also small, and as we work at a distance where we can see the expressions of the people coming and going, we can not only see the taste but also get a much closer look at that country. I think that a place where we don’t have any know-how will not lead to a big failure if we have acquired experience that cannot be gained later.
ASEAN Economic Community is, unlike the EU, an economy of non-intervention. In this environment, each country has its own development to be achieved, and if we don’t see Cambodia as a country with many business opportunities and as an attractive country, it might just become “a transit point” of the economic corridor. Not making any mistakes at all in Cambodia, will lead to development, even if it is on a relatively small scale.