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New digital push for MSMEs

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Micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses are key drivers of the Cambodian economy. FRESH NEWS

New digital push for MSMEs

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on August 18 launched an open joint effort to build an inclusive digital ecosystem aimed at sparking the development of a robust post-Covid-19 economy.

UNDP acting resident representative in Cambodia Sonali Dayaratne said there are two main objectives to get the ball rolling on this collaborative endeavour.

First is to raise awareness of the benefits associated with e-commerce adoption, and second is to build and improve the capacity of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) on effective and potential digital tactics of doing business, she noted.

She said the ultimate goal of this initiative – facilitated by The Idea Consultancy Co Ltd – is to increase e-commerce usage among enterprises and consumers.

“This initiative was commenced in April this year and will end in November this year. Hence, we do hope that more enterprises and consumers will join us in achieving the ambitious objectives of the coalition,” she said.

Australian ambassador to Cambodia Pablo Kang highlighted that small businesses are key drivers of the Cambodian economy and integral to those most vulnerable to the economic impacts of Covid-19.

“In response to the pandemic, Australia and UNDP Cambodia supported micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises to quickly move their businesses online so they could continue to operate in a pandemic-restricted environment,” he said. “This initiative, led by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications … will work towards an inclusive digital future in Cambodia.”

Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Chea Vandeth said the digital alliance would leverage digital technology to provide a strong footing to drive business continuity, with special emphasis on MSMEs.

“This programme … [brings together] Cambodian business associations, financial institutions and digital businesses to support the capture and continuation of online business activities in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, as well as the drive towards a more secure digital future in Cambodia,” he said.

Dayaratne said: “We now have over 500 SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprises] directly engaging in our training programme on digital skills, and have engaged over 500,000 SMEs and consumers in our e-commerce awareness campaign on the benefits of digital solutions and digital payment systems.

“Taking this opportunity, we are also happy to transfer this knowledge network from our programme to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication, to further develop and sustain this asset for more sustainable development in the e-commerce ecosystem.

“We greatly appreciate that the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has supported the coalition from its inception stage, and has agreed to continue to support the information and collateral needs of MSMEs for digitisation, as well as selling profitably online and in accordance with the legal framework.”

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