(Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
British Ambassador Mark Gooding said:
Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
I am delighted this morning to be at the official opening of Costa Coffee in Phnom Penh. As someone who can rarely function in the mornings without coffee, I am particularly pleased that today marks the arrival in Cambodia of a world-renowned UK coffee brand.
Costa Coffee is now the largest coffee chain in the UK as well as in many other markets. It is growing at a pace internationally. Since the first Costa store opened on Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, in 1978, Costa has opened 1,496 stores in the UK and 911 stores across 29 countries around the world.
The opening of Costa Coffee today represents a further strengthening of the business ties between the UK and Cambodia. Trade between the UK and Cambodia is expanding rapidly. Total trade in goods between the UK and Cambodia grew 27% in 2012 to around 750 million US dollars.
At the same time, more and more UK businesses like Costa Coffee are entering the Cambodian market. Many of these UK companies are world class brands, delivering excellence in quality and service. Their arrival supports Cambodia’s development into a modern and dynamic economy.
The British Embassy is strongly committed to strengthening the trade and investment ties between our two countries. To support this, last month we opened a UK Trade office at the Embassy with a full range of services to promote and support businesses in Cambodia.
To conclude, I wish Costa Coffee great success! Thank you very much.