Cambodia: Hybrid Future City Summit Annual Meet 2020 Concluded with Moonshot Ecosystem and Partnership with Khmer Enterprise

Stephen Phillips, Director General of InvestHK, sharing as Keynote Speaker on the importance of shaping collaborative hubs in Asia with Hong Kong and other strategic countries.

On 16–17 December 2020, the 5th Annual Meet of Future City Summit was successfully held globally, with Cyberport in Hong Kong used as the studio. The event was jointly sponsored by InvestHK (Government Department of Foreign Direct Investment) and Cyberport Hong Kong. The summit recorded over 390 nominated delegates from 49 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America with over 34,000 organic audience reach while streaming. Since 2016, Future City Summit has been highly engaged by the Khmer real estate and tech communities. This year, the Summit partnered and earned support of the Khmer Enterprise (KE).

The Future City Summit Annual Meet 2020 was hosted by the Good City Foundation, a multilateral non-profit development organisation based in Hong Kong and Southeast Asian cities, founded in 2016. The 5th Annual Meet was themed “Global Post-Pandemic Recovery” with a series of thought-leadership dialogues with influential figures such as Stephen Phillips of InvestHK, Petrider Paul(Tanzania) of African Union Youth Advisory Council, Tita Larasati(Indonesia) of Indonesia Creative Cities Network, and Retnam Shanmuga of ASEAN Smart Cities Network, along with multiple side sessions.

As an overall achievement, a global-scale moonshot ecosystem composed of 22 countries with members in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East and Africa pledged at the closing ceremony to collaborate with members of Emerging Future Cities Network formed in 2018 and international high-level communities such as ASEAN Smart Cities Network and G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance. A 10-year agenda objective was then set forth to impact 100 emerging cities of 500,000 population each through digital urban innovation, advanced public policy and governance entrepreneurship.

With the support of Foreign Investment Department of the Hong Kong Government, Invest Hong Kong, the Good City Foundation entered into a formal partnership agreement with the development of the Ministry of Finance in Cambodia, Khmer Enterprise. The partnership aims to build a greater urban tech ecosystem and create startup launchpad pipelines to co-invest in profitable ventures. The partnership involves formation of co-venture building schemes for early stage and ideation stage urban innovation and technology companies in Cambodia with product-market-fit and follow-up financing schemes. Co-investing schemes and pilots would be explored and designed with the Khmer Enterprise and investors network in Hong Kong and Greater Bay Area of Mainland China. Interested parties to engage and explore partnership may reach City Partner of Phnom Penh, Ms. Chan Pichmonyka(monyka@futurecitysummit.org).

“It will hopefully lead to more sustainable development through public and private action to leverage Cambodia’s market for growth acceleration. This is one element that can help Cambodia’s post-pandemic economic recovery, as companies and cities that are shortlisted will be engaged in an incubator run by the FSC indefinitely so there are plenty of resources, support networks and perks available. It would be a great opportunity for women leaders in Cambodia to step up and participate with us too.” — Chan Pichmonyka, City Partner of Future City Summit.

The ‘Tech For Good Cities’ Roadshow in the Annual Meet has successfully featured 15 selected technology startups (including 1 from Cambodia) of the following verticals: Urban Tech, Digital Financial Inclusion, Human Capital and Well-being. Panelists included 24 committees of investors and ecosystems including Khmer Enterprise (KE) and well-known venture capital firms and family offices in Hong Kong such as Tsangs Group, Beyond Ventures, Gobi Partners China, AngelHub, Hong Kong Science and Technology Park(HKSTP) Ventures, Cyberport Hong Kong and Shark Tank Thailand. Cambodian tech startup, Khmer Enterprise funded, “Smart Farm Assistance”(SFA) led by Sreylin Meng was selected as one of the 15 companies in Urban Tech categories to meet with investors and other committees.

The partnership with Cambodia and continuous top-notch urban technology sourcing and showcase with Khmer Enterprise will continue with the upcoming side events of World Economic Forum special annual meet in May in Singapore, along with the support by Invest Hong Kong and Khmer Enterprise, during the Startmeup Festival in May at the same time.

“As a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khmer Enterprise has the vision to become the national platform for promoting entrepreneurial activities in Cambodia. Our missions are to provide synergistic support in building a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, support economic diversification and innovation in order to improve productivity and create jobs,” says Dr. Chhieng Vanmunin, CEO of Khmer Enterprise.

“The partnership between Khmer Enterprise and Invest Hong Kong intends to support early-stage entrepreneurs by improving their entrepreneurial mindset and providing business opportunities. Khmer Enterprise views this as an encouragement to see one startup — Smart Farm Assistance — was selected to meet with investors and other committees. Regardless of the result, this is a significant starting point in the right direction for startup to have a chance presenting their business idea. In 2020, they also received a grant from Khmer Enterprise through the Assistant Package program funded by the Ministry of Economy and Finance,” he continues.

H.E. Tauch Choeun(6th from the left), Director General of Youth in Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia participated in the signing of the establishment of Emerging Future Cities Network in Future City Summit Annual Meet 2018 in Guangzhou.

“Cambodia has been in our great hearts together ever since my first journey of entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia back in 2013. This is a special and unique positioning to form collaboration between Hong Kong and Cambodia to the world and engage the local community better, in our Future City Summit, and future World Economic Forum and many other partnership scenarios.” — Andre Kwok, Founder and Chairman of Good City Foundation.

Fostering better public private partnership through foundation stewardship model in emerging cities.

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