Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia plans launch of export-import bank

Cambodia plans launch of export-import bank

Cambodia plans launch of export-import bank


New bank would help finance small-business development as well as expansion of Cambodia’s narrow export base, say government officials

An export-import bank would help finance economic development, particularly export industries such as commercial agriculture, officials said Tuesday at an SME finance conference in Phnom Penh. BLOOMBERG

CAMBODIA may launch its first export-import bank to stimulate trade and support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), officials said at a Tuesday conference on small-business financing in Phnom Penh.

Details of the bank have not been worked out, but officials said it would provide financing and other support to SMEs, particularly in the agriculture sector.

Farmers have had difficulty accessing inexpensive credit to upgrade technology and build processing facilities, even from micro-credit institutions, which often charge more than 12 percent interest.

"There really is a capital shortage for farmers, for products such as cassava," said Sorasak Pan, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce.

"Though Cambodian small businesses provide jobs, generate income and contribute to the country's economic development, SMEs lack formal financial support they need to expand their businesses," said a joint statement by conference organisers.

The project is backed by the Ministry of Commerce, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank of Cambodia, as well as a number of international agencies including the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The government plans to conduct a feasibility study this year, and a budget for the bank could be ready by 2010 for possible launch in the same year, Ministry of Commerce officials said.

The feasibility study would be financed by the UNDP at an estimated cost of US$60,000 to $80,000. Officials have not determined the budget for the export-import bank.

Siphana Sok, secretary of state for the Ministry of Commerce, said the bank would focus on agriculture businesses struggling for capital.

"This is a first step towards getting trade finance... The bank will play a role in trade finance and will help to diversify the country's trade," he said.

The government is focusing on agriculture as a potential growth sector for Cambodia, and has identified 19 products for export promotion.

It says that boosting agriculture would have a strong impact on poverty reduction because 85 percent of the workforce is employed in the sector and it contributes 65 percent of GDP.

But a spokesman from the Pailin Agribusiness Association said that the government should focus on opening up markets and reducing transport costs.

"We are paying $20 per tonne to export cassava, which is too expensive.... The government also needs to put pressure on the Thai government to open its borders to Cambodian products," he said.


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of