PHNOM PENH: At the Business Opportunities in GMS Tourism event in Bangkok, Thailand, on October 17-20, 2023, the Cambodian delegation presented two tourism investment projects to the private sector and representatives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project for the new village community in the Kep mangrove forest, Kep province, and the infrastructure project connecting the Mekong Discovery Trail project, Kratie-Stung Treng province, to the Lao border.
The Cambodian delegation, led by Mr. Chuob Ratana, Director of Tourism Development Planning, Ministry of Tourism also highlighted the many other investment opportunities in the tourism sector in Cambodia, including the development of new international airports, hotels and resorts, eco-tourism destinations, and cultural attractions.
The panel discussion attended by delegates from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, and will be led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The GMS Strategic Framework 2030 (GMS-2030) encourages private sector participation through one of its six innovative approaches: “embracing private sector solutions”.
This aims to reverse the current limited participation of the private sector in GMS projects, which in 2021 only represented 15% of total financing in the GMS Regional Investment Framework.
The tourism sector represents a sizeable portion of the GDP of GMS countries, contributing from 4.6% to 26.4% in 2019, before the pandemic. A coordinated approach is needed, developed jointly with the private sector, to engage investors in helping to finance connectivity infrastructure and operate services more efficiently. Public-private partnerships are at the core of sustainable tourism.
The private sector participants from the GMS Business Council and tourism industry associations such as the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Destination Mekong; the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office; and ADB officials from the GMS Program, the Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD), and the Office of Market Development and Public-Private Partnership (OMDP) also attended the roundtable.