The finance minister has asked South Korea’s Booyoung Group to invest more in the Cambodian financial-technology (fintech) market, which has seen remarkable growth during Covid-19, as the company’s chairman revealed preliminary plans for a university in the Kingdom focused on fintech and taxation.

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth made the proposal at a meeting with Booyoung Group chairman Lee Joong-keun at the finance ministry on October 19, the ministry said in a statement.

The minister acknowledged Booyoung Khmer II Co Ltd’s “active” involvement in the socio-economic development of Cambodia through its operations in finance, real estate and elsewhere.

“Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic battle, the growth and importance of the digital sector as well as fintech in Cambodia, [I] urge the company to look into the possibility of further investing in and providing support for fintech development in Cambodia, inter alia,” the statement cited him as saying.

Pornmoniroth expects the company to keep investing in economic and financial development, and providing additional support and cooperation to companies in Cambodia.

Lee acknowledged the key roles that the finance ministry plays, especially when it comes to taxation, which he likened to a pillar that supports the economy, in both Cambodia and South Korea.

“The Booyoung Group of the Republic of Korea will examine the possibility of opening a university focusing on tax and fintech in Cambodia,” he said in the statement.

Mak Chamroeun, co-founder of local business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platform Smile Shop, voiced appreciation for the South Korean investors continuing to pour money into the Kingdom, and welcomed Booyoung Group’s pitch for such a university, which he said would contribute to human resource development as the industry grows.

“In the education sector, we really need more investors to join in efforts to guide and enhance the development of Cambodian human capital. FinTech is more than just a sector that can level up the Cambodian digital economy, and I truly appreciate the consideration that the investor [Booyoung Group] has shown,” he said.

In early June 2021, the government launched the Cambodia Digital Economy and Social Policy Framework 2021-2035 for the Kingdom’s evolving digital socioeconomic environment, to pave the way for a thriving digital economy, as a new engine of economic growth.

The policy framework is expected to inject fresh momentum into the Kingdom’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector and calibrate the pace of its development to leapfrog into the digital era, as a promising new source of opportunities to boost productivity, efficiency and economic competitiveness.

The framework will have key economic benefits, the government said then, listing job creation; skills development; an improved investment climate; trade and business activity boosts; links in regional and global production and value chains; and more efficient public service delivery as examples.