Introducing our SEC coordinators and their countries

The Phnom Penh based Sorphorn Souk has been our coordinator in Cambodia since 2018. She is Swisscontact Cambodia’s Communication and Partnership Director and brings extensive experience in communication, fundraising and private and public partnerships.

One of Sorphorn’s main tasks within the SEC team is to organise and moderate challenging discussions between the top management of companies and institutions and the SEC’s experts. She appreciates the work for SEC because she learns how to handle cultural differences and solve problems. This helps her understand the challenges and opportunities faced by local businesses, thereby significantly contributing to the overall organisational objectives.

The SEC in Cambodia
SEC first started its activities in Cambodia in 2013. Since then, 67 assignments have been conducted. Over 60 percent of them took place in enterprises and organisations in the tourism, food, education, and construction industry. The focus of these consultancy assignments was primarily in the areas of marketing and corporate strategy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a realignment of priorities, with digital marketing taking on greater importance. At the same time, financial management in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has emerged as an important area to address, particularly in manufacturing and tourism. This shows the programme’s adaptability and responsiveness to changing economic conditions.

Cambodia, having the ambitious target of becoming an upper-middle-class country by 2030 and achieving high-income status by 2050 stands a dynamic landscape. Notably, with over 60 percent of its population below the age of 30, the country manifests a youthful vigour, presenting vast potential and demand across various sectors. Particularly salient are opportunities within vocational training, high technology in agriculture, and digital platforms, positioning Cambodia on an exciting trajectory of growth and development.

Experiences with SEC assignments
Amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC introduced remote assignments, complemented by what came to be known as “final meetings”. These gatherings brought together all involved parties – clients, experts, SEC coordinator and SEC Global Office representative – to scrutinise the outcome of conducted assignments. Sorphorn found these sessions particularly inspiring as she witnessed the tangible impact on clients and observed how SEC consultancy assignments catalysed transformative change within companies. Such moments invariably fill her with pride.

Sorphorn strongly believes that SEC assignments, when conducted in collaboration with Swisscontact programme’s partners, play a pivotal role in fortifying partnerships and ultimately contribute to the success of the program’s implementation.

However, the role of an SEC coordinator is not without its challenges. Despite the presence of clear and transparent processes, accompanied by various supportive documents facilitating efficient program implementation in specific countries, unforeseen circumstances can still arise. The main concern is the safety and well-being of the experts deployed on assignments. Sorphorn vividly recalls a serious incident from a year ago in Cambodia. Supported by both SEC Global Office and Swisscontact, she navigated through hospital procedures and insurance intricacies to ensure the expert’s welfare and swift resolution of the situation.

Facts & Figures Cambodia

Capital Phnom Penh
Area in km2 181’035 km2
Population 15.3 millions (2019)
Language(s) Khmer
Conducted SEC assignments since 2013
Assignment main industries
Food (17.9%), Tourism (17.9%), Education (14.9%), Construction (13.4%)
Swisscontact in Cambodia Since 2016
6 projects are currently running
Learn more about Swisscontact’s activities in Cambodia:
Cambodia – Countries – Site