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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Business registration surged in early 2010

Business registration surged in early 2010

NEW businesses registered with the Ministry of Commerce increased by 18 percent in the first two months of 2010 compared to the same period of last year, statistics released Thursday showed.

Official data, released by the ministry’s Business Registration Department and received by the Post, stated that 338 enterprises and companies were granted licences in January and February this year.

This compares to 286 firms registered during the same two months of last year, and represents a tax revenue increase of US$5,200 for the government given that registration rates have remained unchanged.

During the same time period, six companies were dissolved this year, compared to a total of nine in 2009, a year largely considered the worst on record for the Cambodian economy as international agencies including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank predicted a small contraction in gross domestic product.

An official at the department, who asked to remain anonymous, said that registrations started increasing at the back end of 2009 and consisted of numerous South Korean and Vietnamese enterprises.

Many of the South Korean businesses, she said, have registered as brokers and underwriters in preparation for the May launch of Cambodia’s stock exchange.

She added that the Vietnamese registrations were concentrated in the agricultural sector.

The official added that the procedures and laws had been improved to ease the granting of licences to traders and investors.

Nguon Meng Tech, director general of Cambodia’s Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday that the business climate in the country had improved so far this year.

“I have met with representatives from many foreign countries, like Japan, who are seeking local partners. This means the business atmosphere is better this year,” he said.

Noeu Seiha, a senior researcher from the Economic Institute of Cambodia (EIC), added that he believes the world financial crisis is over, and that both local and foreign investors should take the opportunity to increase their investments in Cambodia.

In 2009, the total number of new companies registered declined sharply by an annualised 27 percent to 2,011 companies from 2,755 in 2008, the ministry figures showed.

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