Minister of Industry and Handicraft Cham Prasidh on Monday urged small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to register with the ministry, saying only five per cent of SMEs had done so.
Prasidh made the call during a meeting with German Ambassador to Cambodia Christian Berger at the ministry, noting that 99 per cent of the Kingdom’s more than 500,000 firms were SMEs and only five per cent of them had formally registered.
“The ministry is encouraging SMEs to register with it. [This] will make it easier for the ministry to manage the sector and provide training.
“I also propose to the German government that it continue providing technical assistance and human resources training, and call for more German investors to conduct business in Cambodia,” Prasidh said.
The government has said it considers micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to be critical to Cambodia becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and reaching high-income status by 2050.
Prasidh said the sector had been a backbone of the Kingdom’s economic growth, benefiting wages, the creation of jobs, exports and technological advancements, as well as reducing poverty.
Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia president Te Taingpor told The Post that the government should introduce mechanisms to encourage the SME sector to register, such as reducing taxes.
“We support reducing taxes for companies that register because SMEs should [come] under the umbrella of [the ministry] to help them not waste time and money,” Taingpor said.
The Cambodia Inter-censal Economic Survey 2014 shows there were 513,759 enterprises in the Kingdom that year, of which 97.6 per cent were micro-enterprises and 2.2 per cent SMEs.
Women-owned 26 per cent of SMEs and 62 per cent of micro-enterprises.
A study published by the International Finance Corporation this year said that some 90 per cent of the revenue generated by SMEs in 2018 came from female-owned firms. However, Cambodian female entrepreneurs lacked skills and leadership due to disparities in gender equality and access to education.
A survey by the Ministry of Industry of 71 enterprises in the Kingdom found they needed assistance in market research, service development, packaging, technology, human resources, access to labour and finance, business registration and taxation, among others, as well to improve hygiene standards.