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Registered business numbers increased

The number of businesses registered with the Ministry of Commerce climbed by more than 10 per cent year on year during the first half of 2012, ministry data showed.

Officials credited the government’s piecemeal efforts to institute a transparent investment policy and gross domestic product growth, as well as Prime Minister Hun Sen’s main pitch to the international business community: political stability.

The ministry approved 166 companies in the year through June, totalling 1,694 officially recognised businesses in the Kingdom.

“This proves that [companies] trust us because they can earn profit with their businesses. We have a lot of duty-free [agreements] with many countries in the world – like the EU,” the ministry’s Secretary of State Ok Boung said yesterday.

“Now I noticed there are a lot of garment and footwear factories opening, especially ones from China, Japan and Korea. We also see the investment in the agricultural sector, which is also being invested in by our local investors.”

Registered businesses in the country are thoroughly outnumbered by those that operate in the grey market, generally one- or two-person operations, an economic census released earlier this year showed.

The National Institute of Statistics census identified about 505,000 active enterprises in Cambodia.

Thai companies were making a mark on the number of registered businesses this year, Nguon Meng Tach, director general of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday.

“We have a lot business potential for them to make a profit from. I think, that because they are our neighbours it is easy for them to do business and invest.”

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency has said as many as 60 new Japanese businesses could register in the country this year, a potential 100 per cent compared to 2011.

Most foreign companies in Cambodia hail from regional neighbours such as South Korea, Vietnam, China and Malaysia, Hum Hean, director for the business registration department at the ministry, had told the Post. He could not be reached yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at kunmakara.may@phnompenhpost.com

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