German international development organisation Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) will provide $4.5 million in aid to promote a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development project in four Asean countries, including Cambodia.
In Cambodia, Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts undersecretary of state Son Seng Huot and a GIZ representative signed off on the aid on Thursday at the “National Website for Small and Medium Enterprises” workshop in Phnom Penh.
However, neither party disclosed the financial share for the Kingdom.
GIZ said the assistance falls under the Asean-German Cooperation’s Strengthening Regional Structures for Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion in Asean project.
Lor Sathya, the deputy director-general of the ministry’s General Department of Small and Medium Enterprises and Handicrafts, said the three-year project will be implemented in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
The funds will help SMEs access critical public services related to business processes, as well as technological education, new technologies, various services and business communication networks, Sathya said.
“The project will help strengthen the ability of Cambodian SMEs to gain access to the international market and facilitate the context of policies and regulations in the regional business environment.
“Establishing appropriate information relay systems, consultation networks and structure to the development of Cambodian SMEs will help strengthen their ability to compete with foreign SMEs,” he said.
GIZ country director for Cambodia Gunter Riethmacher said the project aimed to improve information systems and promote services for SMEs within the framework of the Asean Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025.
He said it will also improve the Asean SME Service Centre, reinforce the National SME Information Centre and promote national SME services for internationalisation.
“The GIZ agreements on Asean Small and Medium Enterprise Projects 2019-2021 is also to develop the National SME Information Centre for Cambodia and its action plan,” he said.
A survey from the ministry said 71 SMEs need assistance in improving in certain areas – including hygiene standards, market research, service development and packaging, technology, human resources and labour, access to finance, business registration and taxation.