Confluences and The French Week

12 March 2015

Interview with our CEO, Soreasmey Ke Bin, about the launching of the French week this week-end, and the “L’art français d’aimer “exhibition.

Can you introduce yourself?
I’m a Cambodian and French entrepreneur, and very proud to hold these two passports. I grew up in France and came to live in Cambodia more than a decade ago. I’ve been developing a portfolio of business interests since then, mainly SMEs. Lately I have founded a consulting agency, Confluences, dedicated to those foreign companies – brands and individuals – willing to invest in the Cambodian market. I have to say that up to now, all of our clients are French.

You are really in the import of French brands in Cambodia. In what is it so important for you?
I’m French-educated so I have known these products and companies for a long time. It was more than logical for me to reach for them at first. It is easier for me to work with these suppliers as we speak the same language and follow the same codes. Since its inception, Confluences distribution has taped into the niche markets. We are exclusively working with European – and mostly French – suppliers. We are aiming at the best quality and superior design whether we are selling industrial solutions, sports equipment or fashion apparels. Cambodia is surely less developed than its neighbor countries, but that’s not a reason for us to go only for the easiest and cheapest products. We want Cambodia to go beyond the local and even the regional standards, and that implies working with the best, and I have to say that in the markets we target, it implies working with the Frenchs.

Why did you choose to be involved in the French week?
My partner – Raphael Ivara – and I, have been managing our trading company for almost 4 years now. We were among the first to bring French fashion brands such as Aubade or Simone Pérèle to the Cambodian market, so logically we were involved in the previous editions of the French week. It was all natural to take part this year as well. It seems that more companies are joining this year, and everyone is making more efforts to make this week a success, so we are more than glad to be in, and we do hope the public will appreciate the event we are organizing.

Why did you choose to import the brand Aubade?
When you are French and you hear about lingerie, then Aubade is the first brand you will think about. That’s probably due to their strong marketing campaign, their famous “lessons of seduction”. Beyond that their products are of high quality, their collections are always diverse enough to market different segments of clientele, but still coherent with a unique universe. So the choice was obvious, though it was not easy to convince them to invest in the Cambodian market at first.

Can you tell us more about the Aubade event during the french week?
We will celebrate the Aubade women. Romantic, provocative, delicate and audacious… Our event will focus on the “Lessons in Seduction”, the iconic and on-going ad campaign that started in the early 90s. These faceless black-and-white photos invite onlookers to read between the lines with their elegant precepts. They instantly introduced a new way to see lingerie, its seduction and the pleasure that it offers women and their lucky men. The French Art of Loving, L’art d’aimer à la française.

What means “art de vivre à la française” for you?
“We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving”, the person who said so was German, but he could have been French. And if I may add to it, it’s up to us here in Cambodia to develop a genuine “French-Cambodian way of living”. If this week could give us some inspiration.



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