Cambodia officially launched the E-Commerce Strategy on November 25 in a bid to achieve and drive forward competitive growth in trade and economic terms and aid in its pursuit of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.
This comes timely as the government passed the E-Commerce Law on November 2, 2019, as a response to the rapid development of e-commerce and online shopping.
The law aims to regulate electronic businesses based in the Kingdom and enable local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to integrate into value chains linked to domestic and international markets, the Ministry of Commerce said in a prakas.
The strategy comprises 10 chapters – strategy, policy and institutional coordination; legal and regulatory frameworks; SME regulations; information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure; digital knowledge infrastructure; payment systems; domestic e-commerce logistics; cross-border trade; access to finance; and trade information and market support.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Pan Sorasak said that, in the context of the fourth industrial revolution, digital technology is key in sharpening the competitive edge of commercial enterprises, promoting productivity, augmenting exports, creating jobs and reinforcing national economic growth.
Having embarked on a long-term vision to reap the fruits of Industry 4.0 and the innovation-driven modern age, he said the government of the Sixth Legislature of the National Assembly has demonstrated its readiness to develop a digital economy.
It has put in place policy which aims to, among other things, develop domestic industry, diversify the economy and prop up capacity building for the Kingdom’s SMEs, he said.
“The e-commerce law serves as an important legal basis for the development of e-commerce, especially to protect the interests and build high-trust relationships with e-consumers, as well as to entice local and foreign investors to come and invest in Cambodia.
“This is a newly-emergent sector, but it has tremendous potential to generate new sources of growth for the Cambodian economy,” Sorasak said.
Covid-19 has strained the economies of every country across the globe and has brought to the fore the vital role that e-commerce can play in the pandemic and beyond.
At the same time, it has highlighted the need for new, efficient and highly competitive business models – for now and in the post-Covid-19 era – which use digital technology that adapts to the digital economic environment and market demand conditions.
Sorasak said: “The strategic document will be a major driver of national economic development, especially for Cambodia’s transformation into a digital economy going forward.
“It will bring us closer to realising Cambodia’s vision to become an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.”
He added the strategy was drawn up at the right time, just over a year since the E-Commerce Law went into effect.
But he warned that the success of the E-Commerce Strategy hinges on the active involvement of the Ministries of Posts and Telecommunications; and Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, other institutions, as well as the private sector.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on November 25 that the E-Commerce Strategy is a multifaceted boon for doing business in the Kingdom and would only sweeten its allure to international investors.
He stressed that the general migration to electronic systems would cut down on overly-complicated procedures and save time and money.
“The E-Commerce Strategy will make things easier for investors, and, of note, will make them more transparent for everyone,” Heng said.
Preparation of the strategy was funded by the Geneva, Switzerland-based global development programme Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Assistance for the Least Developed Countries (EIF), according to the commerce ministry.