Revitalizing Traditional Markets: Chaom Chao from Cambodia is Impressed by Solo’s Success

Revitalizing Traditional Markets: Chaom Chao from Cambodia is Impressed by Solo’s Success


12 – 15 July 2011. After months of preparing their city for the implementation of their best practice, the pilot city of Chaom Chao near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was excited to travel to Solo city, Indonesia – their ‘model city’ – to gain an insight into the practical aspects of relocating street vendors and managing a traditional market.

The eight-member strong delegation from Chaom Chao, consisting of representatives of the local government, as well as project staff from DELGOSEA Cambodia, enjoyed an action-packed program, expertly put together by their very helpful and professional counterparts in Solo city.

Apart from meetings with a number of council officials, including the mayor of Solo, JokoWidodo, whose personal commitment to the project was a decisive factor for its success, the participants visited various markets as well as the locations where previously street vendors had congregated. The delegation was not only impressed by how clean and well-organized the markets were, but also by the sheer number of traders and market officials who took the time to talk to them and answer their numerous questions. The participants felt that the practical experiences and various tips on street market arrangements and revitalization of traditional markets were invaluable for their own attempts to introduce such reforms in Cambodia.

It was noted that there were quite a few administrative and political differences between the way the Solo markets are managed and the local government set-up in Cambodia: in Solo, local government oversees the markets within the city, whereas in Cambodia, the private sector is responsible for this task. It remains to be seen whether these differences influence the outcome of the project.

Both cities agreed, however, that whatever the management structure, a people-oriented approach was the key to success!