A new business confidence measure launched by ANZ Royal yesterday is set to provide a solid guide for future decision making in Cambodia’s maturing economy, the banks CEO and economists said yesterday.
The ANZ Royal Business Confidence Index is built from survey responses from companies operating in Cambodia’s agricultural, manufacturing and services industries and who have annual revenues of more than $1 million. Firms are questioned on their revenue forecasts, profitability, staffing expectations, capital investment outlook and their overall business confidence for the upcoming 12 months. Scores are then ranked up to one hundred and plotted on an index.
Speaking at the index launch in Phnom Penh, ANZ Royal CEO Grant Knuckey hailed the project as an important guide for Cambodia’s business community.
“Making decisions is what business is all about and making decisions is a function of confidence, that’s what enables you or that is a catalyst for making a decision to invest, to hire, to grow or not,” he said.
Just 40 businesses responded to ANZ Royal’s maiden survey, but despite Cambodia’s ongoing political uncertainty, business confidence is generally positive, according to Knuckey.
“Companies are saying that they expect revenue to grow strongly through the next 12 months. They are also saying they will continue to invest,” he said.
Overall confidence was ranked 83 out of 100.
Survey respondents, however identified a lack of quality human resources, unfair treatment from customs and tax departments, lagging infrastructure and high electricity costs as their greatest concerns, the ANZ CEO added.
Faisal Ahmad, the International Monetary Fund’s Resident Representative in Cambodia praised the ANZ initiative saying it would assist both government and the private sector to shape Cambodia’s developing economy.
“The way to think of Cambodia today, if you only have small ‘mum-and-pop’ shops you can just go by intuition. But in a more structured economy you need that phase,” he said, referring to a requirement for a more sophisticated economic analysis as Cambodia’s economy matures.
Surveys are ongoing with the number of respondents expected to increase. The ANZ Royal Business Confidence Index will be released quarterly.
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