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Inclusive-business working group aims for sustainability

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A woman mops the tiled floor of a building in the capital’s Meanchey district in February. Heng Chivoan

Inclusive-business working group aims for sustainability

The government on August 22 established a working group to promote inclusive business (IB) nationwide to increase the efficiency and sustainability of business processes so as to ramp up production volume and value and build better business resilience.

Speaking to The Post on August 29, Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation secretary of state and working group chairman Heng Sokkung explained that the IB model is based on innovative business principles and a broad scope of solutions that address the challenges confronting low-income populations.

He said IB supports service productivity as well as improves livelihoods and promotes growth among the people at the “base of the pyramid” by integrating them into the supply chain as, inter alia, suppliers, distributors and retailers, while allowing others to become consumers.

“This’ll provide more benefits to the business community and have a significant impact on society, while also contributing to the transformation of the business model system to create a triple-win situation, meaning a win for the poor, a win for the private sector, and a win for society by spurring the national economy,” Sokkung said.

He added that the working group will be crucial for the preparation of action plans and legal documents to manage and promote IB, provide guidance and strategies, ensure the efficiency and sustainability of associated processes, and mainstreaming knowledge on the matter.

The IB agenda was introduced in ASEAN in 2017 through a call by leaders of the bloc’s 10 countries, and the ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit has been held each year since 2018 to promote IB in the region, he said, adding that as the rotating chair of ASEAN for 2022, Cambodia is set to host the fifth summit on October 26-27.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, stressed the importance of adopting an IB approach for businesses to align production structures and processes with international standards and improve upon them.

“The goal of this re-orientation is to encourage businesses in Cambodia to meet ASEAN and global standards. The private sector can benefit more from businesses that embrace inclusivity, making them sustainable,” he said.

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