Cambodia's Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak has requested help from China’s largest technology company, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, in boosting e-commerce and online trading to contribute to the government’s goal of transforming to a digital economy.

The request was made on Wednesday during a meeting with Yao Yuya, the CEO of the company’s local arm Huawei Technologies (Cambodia) Co Ltd.

Sorasak said Cambodia passed its e-commerce law last November to contribute to the fast development of the sector in the country, although work remains.

“So far, the ministry has been developing some regulations for the implementation of the e-commerce law. The ministry is coming close to a final strategy for the implementation the law and also plans to prepare a new project focusing on the promotion of e-commerce for business-to-business, cross-border trading and local markets,” he said.

Yao said Huawei has been investing a lot in telecom infrastructure and other digital services in Cambodia for many years as the company aims to contribute to the country’s development.

“Currently, the company has been working on many projects for the [Cambodian] government,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday endorsed a sub-decree on business registration via information and communications technology (ICT) that aims to facilitate and create a favourable business establishment and to attract more investments.

Cambodian E-commerce Federation president Ley Sopheap said at a forum in March that e-commerce

opens a world of opportunities for local small- and medium-sized enterprises. He said while the number of smartphone users is growing and Cambodia is embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, more and more businesses are choosing to make their services available online.

“E-commerce operators will profit more if they operate legally. The government is encouraging e-commerce firms to register,” he said.

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth has said the digital economy is taking shape in Cambodia and creating new services like digital payments, online entertainment and e-commerce.

He said countries that make the most of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are those that show the flexibility to adapt to a changing economy and world.

“For developing countries like Cambodia, new technologies provide an opportunity to leapfrog, bypassing traditional phases of development.

“In the context of globalisation and global integration, Cambodia certainly cannot avoid the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. That requires the government to focus on seizing opportunities as well as managing risks,” he said.

Last year, the government decided to set aside $5 million per year to support tech start-ups in the Kingdom.