Cérémonie de lancement du partenariat entre Lagardère Active et LVMG (26/09/2016)
Excellency Chea Chan Boribo, Secretary of State representing His Excellency Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information,
Excellencies members of the Royal Government of Cambodia,
Mr. Alexandre Vekhoff, Digital operation manager of Lagardère Active,
Mr. Ung Dipola, general manager of LVMG,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me to be here this morning on the occasion of this ceremony celebrating the joint venture between LVMG and Lagardère Active Radio International. I thank His Excellency Chea Chan Boribo, Secretary of State representing His Excellency Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information of the Royal Government of Cambodia, for making himself available today. I am glad also that Mr. Alexandre Vekhoff, digital operation manager of Lagardère Active, could travel to Phnom Penh for this auspicious occasion.
I am personally pleased to be here, first of all, because I love listening to the radio, which is a great tool for information, education and entertainment, one that has not yet been affected too much by the Internet. Not being myself a Khmer speaker, I must admit that I am not very familiar with Cambodian radio stations, except one which has a strong link with my country : you will easily understand that I am referring to Radio France International (RFI) that has both French and Khmer programs renowned for their high quality. I am pleased to see Mr. Jean-François Tain, general manager of RFI, among your guests today.
I am also pleased because this joint venture between LVMG and Lagardère Active is another sign of the growing interest that I note among French companies for the Cambodian market. If we look at the past few months, we have had quite a few examples with fresh investments by the Vinci Group, by the French bank BRED, due to open a branch in Phnom Penh in the next few weeks, but also, closer to your line of business, by Havas Media that has acquired the regional communications agency Riverorchid with a strong base in Cambodia.
I understand that this partnership between LVMG and Lagardère Active marks the first time that a major French company buys a share in Cambodian radios. It is also the first time that Lagardère, already present in 7 countries with 22 radio stations in Eastern Europe and Africa, sets foot in Asia. It is worth noting that Lagardère has chosen Cambodia as its starting point with an eye on the wider region, now part of the vibrant ASEAN Economic Community that benefits from its high economic growth and has a rapidly emerging middle class.
Being one a the major players in media in France, I am sure that Lagardère has carefully looked at this market and decided to invest on high potential radio stations to which it will provide its rich experience and expertise, including in audience measurement. Vayo FM and Vive Radio can only become stronger through this partnership while Lagardère Active will learn a lot from them about what are the taste and expectations of Cambodian people, especially young Cambodians that represent a large share of the population.
I would like, therefore, to extend my best wishes of success to all partners in this new venture. may I add that my embassy will be happy to provide information that you may need for your programs and, as far as I am concerned, I always stand ready to give interviews if there is an interest from the media.
In concluding, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that we will celebrate next month the 50th anniversary of the historic visit that General de Gaulle paid to Cambodia in 1966. By the way and as you know, General de Gaulle started his political career with a famous BBC broadcast in London on 18th June 1940. I mention it only because, thanks to Lagardère Active and its flagship magazine Paris Match, we will present at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports a wonderful exhibition of photographs taken during the visit in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. This will provide a good opportunity for Vayo Radio, using material from another Lagardère Group’s company, to inform its audience about this important milestone of Cambodian contemporary history.