Who we are
The Angkor Handicraft Association (AHA) was founded in October 2011 as a non-profit business association comprised of 15 handicraft NGOs and enterprises. The association exists to strengthen the handicraft sector and improve the quality of life for thousands of local artisans in the Siem Reap province.
Although tourism in Siem Reap has increased dramatically from around 200,000 visitors in 2005 to over 2 million visitors in 20141, and visitors spend USD $100 million on souvenirs, Siem Reap remains one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia. The influx of imported souvenirs and machine-made replicas of traditional handicrafts is forcing hundreds of artisans to turn to farming and other activities to supplement their income. Around 80% of goods sold in Siem Reap are imported from countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and China2 and the local artisans struggle to compete with these economies of scale.
AHA supports the advancement of local handicraft enterprises in Siem Reap through the provision of the government registered Seal of Authenticity, which identifies products that are handmade in the Siem Reap province and is available for all AHA members to display on their products. AHA has also developed the Wholesale Trade Centre, which facilitates commercial connections between national and international traders and local Siem Reap handicraft producers; as well as the AHA Fair Trade Village, which offers a place for rural handicraft producers to access the tourism market in Siem Reap.
To support the development of local handicraft businesses and strengthen the handicraft sector, enhancing the quality of life of communities in Siem Reap province.
A self sustaining and competitive local handicraft sector.
The Angkor Handicraft Association seeks to provide the following services to its members:
1. Facilitate the active promotion of member’s products in national and international markets and to facilitate business linkages development between its members and new markets
2. Organise local marketing events and B2B events for locally produced handicraft products
3. Provide market information, information regarding trade fairs, trade promotion programs and existing financial services to its members
4. Arrange or coordinate training opportunities in cooperation with other institutions such as Women’s Development Centre and local NGOs
5. Facilitate access to training and capacity building in areas such as relevant aspects of business management, export regulations, etc.
6. Provide a forum for cooperation and networking and encourage exchange among its members
7. Provide technology updates to its members
8. Represent the handicraft sector in private-public dialogue forums and articulate general problems of the handicraft sector in Siem Reap
9. Facilitate the access to relevant business development services such as product design and product development, export and logistic services, financial services, etc.
10. Promote environment friendly production processes.