The government wants to play a bigger role in helping local businesses remain competitive and, to this end, the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME) has launched a new award to recognise companies that have achieved high produc-tivity standards.
Ten companies will be awarded in September this year under the initiative, called the 5S Productivity Award. 5S is a Japan-based workplace organisation method – which will also be used as judging criteria – focusing on increasing efficiency and safety through methods such as “sorting”, or eliminating unnecessary processes, and “standardising”, or keeping procedures simplified.
Yea Bunna, director of the National Productivity Centre of Cambodia, said officials saw 5S as a potential mechanism to increase productivity.
Meng Saktheara, MIME’s general director of Industry, said public administration and the private sector sometimes lacked effective communication and so government officials may not know the best way to help local entrepreneurs. MIME’s award scheme will hopefully help improve on the business environment.
Improving the business environment here is important because the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is expected to bring in more competition to Cambodia.
Um Serivuth, a chief at the Productivity Promotion Office of the NPCC, said the award targets companies in the food manufacturing or service industries. His office will accept nominations until the middle of August, before the department will assess selected companies to pick the winners, with the top three receiving cash prizes of up to $300.
Yi Samphy, lecturer of Total Quality Management at National University of Management, said he agreed 5S strategies would help to improve the quality of products.
“Most Cambodian entrepreneurs do not know yet about the competition the AEC will bring,” he said, adding that “competition is a global trend not just for developed or less developed countries”.