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Survey seeks info on Cambodian business health

Starting later this month, 10,000 small and medium-sized businesses will be queried as part of a Japanese government-backed economic census intended to take a snapshot of activity across the private sector.

Beginning on February 23 and running through to March 31, Cambodia’s National Institute of Statistics (NIS) will conduct the survey with help from Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA), according to a joint agency statement released yesterday.

Respondents will be selected from 25 provinces, drawn from a much larger group of more than 500,000 businesses first interviewed in Cambodia’s landmark economic census in 2011.

NIS employees will visit the establishments in person and questions will focus on, among other items, business registration details, legal status, hours of operation, number of personell and financial health of the enterprise. Final results are expected in March 2015, while preliminary data may be ready as early as August.

Khin Sovorlak, deputy director general of the NIS, said he was confident businesses will comply with the questionnaire. As for the results, he predicted an increase in the number of people employed by private enterprises.

“This survey, along with last year’s [separate] agricultural census, improves reliability and quality control over the handling of statistical data,” he said.

After the first economic census some three years ago, this “inter-censal” survey will mark a midway point before another mass effort gets underway in 2021.

According to the joint statement, “since the interval of two decennial economic censuses is very long, 10 years, it is indispensable to conduct an inter-censal economic survey to collect updated information on the constantly changing economic situation of Cambodia.”

During the first day of a week-long training course for census officials held yesterday in Phnom Penh, Minister of Planning Chhay Than stressed the need for reliable statistical data and called on all businesses to provide accurate survey responses, according to national news service AKP.

Cambodia’s economy continues to expand at a steady clip each year, with the International Monetary Fund most recently forecasting 7.2 per cent growth for 2014.

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