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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Registered businesses increase by 49 percent

Registered businesses increase by 49 percent

BUSINESS registration at the Ministry of Commerce grew 49 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to annualised government figures obtained by the Post on Monday.

A total 663 businesses registered this quarter, compared with 445 in the same period of 2009. Of those, 373 were local companies, an increase of 44 percent over 2009’s first quarter, but a smaller jump than the 56 percent increase in foreign companies.

“We have a very good political situation with a clear policy to make businesspersons and investors confident and trust us,” said Sok Sokhun, director of the Commerce Ministry’s registration department, on Monday. “This means our economy is better for making investments and providing more employment for people.”

Nguon Meng Tech, director general of the national Chamber of Commerce, said the jump reflected a recovery in the global economy as well as increased investment interest from Vietnam and South Korea.

“They see our strong political position,” he said. “The government is very open to those investors or traders who can own 100 percent of their profit and take it anytime to their home countries – all of this builds trust in them for us.”

“This is a good sign for the economy this year,” added Bretton Sciaroni, president of Sciaroni and Associates.

The numbers show that Cambodia’s policies for foreign direct investment have built investor trust, Sciaroni said. Investors “quickly see” the government’s interest in growing Cambodia’s economy through the private sector, he said.

“I am sure that this year we will have more and more companies opening up here, and also into next year. I know many good companies are coming now,” he said.

The quarterly registration figures also show that 242 local and 299 foreign companies changed their names, while only 11 companies were dissolved.

The Commerce Ministry has been improving registration procedures since 2004, Sok Sokhun said, by lowering registration time to three to five days where it once took a week and streamlining other procedures. To register, companies are required to have start-up capital of $1,000 in Cambodian banks, as well as proper documentation, he said.

“I still think the new companies will keep increasing from now on, due to a recovery in the global economic crisis, as well as the improvement of our economy,” he said.

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