To solve issues like ineffective supply chains and subpar packaging standards, the government is training small businesses through workshops, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce.
The goal is to solve key issues in the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector to help the country integrate into the regional and global economies, Ministry of Commerce undersecretary of state Bun Chanthy said at a workshop organised by the ministry on Wednesday.
“We are sharing knowledge and skills with MSMEs in Cambodia to help them create effective supply chains in line with Japanese standards,” he said.
The workshop was organised together with Asean member states and Japan.
Cam Paint Manufacturing Co Ltd executive director Soum Sambath told The Post on Thursday that the local MSME sector is hampered by inefficient supply chains and low-quality packaging due to a lack of new technology and skilled labour.
“We must work at a faster to compete with neighbouring countries,” he said.
According to a survey by the Minister of Industry and Handicraft, 99 per cent of the Kingdom’s more than 500,000 firms are MSMEs and only five per cent of them have formally registered.
These firms need assistance in market research, service development, packaging, technology, human resources, access to labour and finance, business registration, taxation, and improving hygiene standards, the ministry found.
The Asean Strategic Action Plan for SME (small and medium enterprise) Development 2016-2025 has been drafted in response to these issues.
Speaking during the 8th Asean Coordinating Committee on MSME in Phnom Penh last November, Minister of Industry and Handicrafts secretary of state Heng Sokkung said the policy has five main goals.
They are to improve regulation; promote entrepreneurship and human resources development; promote productivity and technological innovation; increase access to finance, and promote foreign markets and globalisation.
“The Cambodian government is cooperating with other Asean member states and development partners to help MSMEs enter foreign markets,” Sokkung said.
An International Finance Corporation report released in August said Cambodia’s female entrepreneurs continue to struggle with limited access to financial loans for business expansion, with only three per cent having access to formal credit from microfinance institutions and banks.
The report estimates that the unmet demand for credit from women entrepreneurs is currently $4.2 billion – equivalent to almost 63 per cent of Cambodia’s $6.7 billion national budget for 2019.