A total of 27,095 companies, with a combined “registered share capital” of $8.03 billion, were successfully registered on the Online Business Registration Platform (“OBRP”) in its 1,120 days of formal operation, as of July 9 at 11:59pm, according to the Online Business Registration Service (“OBRS”).

This marks a 31 per cent rise from the 20,693 firms, and a larger 38 per cent jump from the $5.81 billion in total registered share capital posted by the OBRS – a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Finance – for January 2 at 2pm, just 188 days earlier.

The government launched the OBRP on June 15, 2020. Just six ministries and state-run institutions were linked to the OBRP’s initial Phase I sub-platform, which also known as the “Single Portal”. These are the finance, interior, commerce and labour ministries, and the General Department of Taxation (GDT) and Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

The subsequent Phase II and Phase III sub-platforms were rolled out on September 1, 2021 and June 22, 2023. All three components are to be run concurrently, with registration matters handled exclusively through the Phase I sub-platform.

The OBRP’s overall goal is to simplify registration and other legally-required procedures for businesses that are currently operating in the Kingdom or planning to do so, such as those for licences, permits or certificates.

As of July 9, a total of 15,633 companies had at some point successfully made reservations to complete the registration process at a later date. Although no registration applications had been rejected as of then, two reservation requests have been declined.

Breaking down the $8.03 billion figure for registered share capital by “business activity”, “building construction” accounted for the lion’s share at $1.07 billion, followed by “real estate activities involving the use of one’s own, or leased properties” ($905M).

Next on the list were “accommodation services” ($897M), “management consulting ($473M) and “manufacture of wearing apparel, except fur apparel” ($367M). “Others” represented $4.33 billion.

The OBRS reported that 38 per cent per cent of the companies on the OBRP were women-owned as of July 9 at 11:59pm.

In a July 11 interview with The Post, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng remarked that the OBRP simplifies procedures, eliminates redundancies, and saves time and money.

This, along with the direct involvement of government agencies, fosters public confidence and motivates more businesses owners to register and legalise their operations, he said.

“Simplifying the registration process not only encourages more business owners to register, it also makes it easier for the government to manage things and put support and tax-related policies in place [when needed],” Heng said.

Speaking at the June 22 launch ceremony for the Phase III sub-platform, Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth emphasised how the Cambodian economy, despite a 3.1 per cent contraction in 2020, was able to bounce back from Covid-19 through effective pandemic management and a prompt reopening.

Regardless, to be ready to handle any potential catastrophe, Cambodia must work to increase its economy’s competitiveness and resilience, he stressed, adding that, by developing new digital economic models, raising productivity, and ensuring robust economic growth, the Kingdom is pursuing important priorities in digitalisation and digital transformation.

“With the vision of creating a smart and vibrant digital government, economy, and society, the Royal Government has set out two long-term policies: the ‘Cambodia Digital Economy and Society Policy Framework 2021-2035’ and ‘Cambodia Digital Government Policy 2022-2035’,” the minister said, lauding the OBRP as a “key reform” to this end.