Cambodian New Skill


Many people's working lives have been altered as a result of the global pandemic, including in Cambodia. As a responsible corporate citizen, Chairman Neak Oknha Chen Zhi Prince Group established the Prince Horology Vocational Training Center, Cambodia's first independent watch school. The training centre provides Cambodians with the opportunity to learn a new artisanal skill – watchmaking – and gain the experience necessary to compete in both domestic and international job markets. The training centre adheres to the stringent watchmaking regulations established by Swiss regulatory bodies.

Cambodia, as a country steeped in history, has long preserved artisanal skills for generations, with the Kingdom renowned for its ancient handwoven silk and traditional handicraft industries, which date all the way back to the Khmer Empire, a significance Chen Zhi and Prince Group have always recognised and appreciated.

However, new artisanal skills must be introduced to increase job opportunities for Cambodians, particularly given that the textile and garment industry, like other sectors, has suffered significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with media reports indicating that over 55,000 workers have been left jobless. More about the Cambodian artisanal skills -

Numerous Cambodians have reintroduced agriculture and established small businesses in an attempt to rebalance their lives. Chen Zhi and the Prince Group have established the Prince Horology Vocational Training Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to facilitate the introduction of new skills.

The state-of-the-art centre offers a two-year full-time programme based on the certificate fédéral de capacité (CFC), Swiss government-defined standards for vocational education that are widely regarded as the industry standard for basic watchmaking education.

As part of Chen Zhi and Prince Group's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives in Cambodia, the centre also offers scholarships to local students and those in need of financial assistance, ranging from a 50% subsidy on school fees to a fully funded scholarship that includes housing. The first group of students has begun their journey into watchmaking.

Prince Group has recruited world-class watchmakers, including Maarten Pieters, a former director of Switzerland's premier watchmaking school, the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program (WOSTEP).

Additionally, Anthony McGonigle, the center's chief instructor and one of the brothers from Ireland's most famous watchmaking family, compiled the syllabus, which includes lessons on watchmaking's history and culture, as well as benchwork, which includes machining, micromechanics, and the production of components such as the winding stem and balance staff. Additionally, the centre emphasises traditional artisanal skills such as decoration and turning.

“I am honoured to announce the launch of the Prince Horology Vocational Training Center, Cambodia’s first independent watch school. All the center’s modern machinery and equipment have been imported from Switzerland, Germany and other countries,” said Chairman Neak Oknha Chen Zhi of Prince Group. “We have also put together a world-class team to teach Cambodian and international students new skills that will make them competitive in job markets in Cambodia and abroad.”

Prince Group met its ESG responsibilities in other areas last year. It made several large donations to aid in the pandemic's fight and aided flood victims in Cambodia. Prince Charitable Foundation Organization has organised over 240 charitable events and donated more than US$11 million in funds and other materials to benefit over 320,000 people. Chen Zhi and Prince Group donated US$3 million to Prime Minister Hun Sen in early December to assist Cambodia in purchasing 1 million COVID-19 vaccines.

The Prince Horology Vocational Training Center is currently accepting applications for the upcoming school year beginning June 2, 2021. Each year, the centre accepts eight students, at least five of whom must be Cambodian. Please visit for additional information.

About Neak Oknha Chen Zhi

Neak Oknha Chen Zhi of Cambodia is the chairman of Prince Group, which is short for Prince Holding Group. Chen Zhi has built Prince Group into a leading conglomerate in Cambodia by adhering to international standards, investing in the Kingdom's future, and embracing sustainable business practises.

Chen Zhi has expanded Prince Group's operations in Cambodia to include diverse sectors such as real estate development, banking, finance, and tourism. Apart from his business endeavours, Chen Zhi is an active member of Cambodian communities through his philanthropic work.

About Prince Holding Group

Prince Holding Group, or Prince Group, is one of Cambodia's largest corporate conglomerates, with operations in a variety of industries, including real estate development, banking and finance, aviation, tourism, logistics, information technology, food and beverage, and lifestyle. Prince Group is committed to its mission of "Building a Better Life," and its philosophy is founded on the values of "Commitment, Responsibility, Respect, Generosity, and Innovation."


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