Despite ongoing protests over the minimum wage in the garment industry and the political deadlock that lasted well in to July, Cambodia registered over 3,000 new businesses from January to September this year.
The latest data from the Ministry of Commerce reveal there were 3,025 newly registered businesses representing a 36 per cent increase from the 2,220 registered in the same period last year.
Some 1,330 of this year’s new business were foreign registered, a 20 per cent increase, while 1,690 were registered by Cambodians, up 46 per cent.
Ministry of Commerce spokesman Ken Ratha said the rise suggested increasing business confidence.
“The surge reflects the business community’s confidence as we are still building a very investment and business [focused] environment,” Ratha explained.
The World Bank projected this month that Cambodia’s economic growth will reach 7.2 per cent, citing the garment and construction industries as key engines of growth.
ANZ Royal CEO Grant Knuckey told the Post that while business registration data can be a little volatile, the scale of the increase is a clear sign that both domestic and foreign investors have put prior political turmoil behind them and are prepared to take more risks.
“This is fairly consistent with measures like the ANZ Royal Business Confidence Index, which has displayed a high overall level of confidence and belief in growth,” said Knuckey. “The 40 per cent increase in domestic registrations is particularly interesting, as it may suggest the rise of a larger and broader entrepreneurial class in Cambodia.”