According to a joint press release, the funds will fuel an innovative six-month incubation and training initiative and small grants programme to help small- and medium-sized enterprises move online, sell online, and, for some, sell to overseas customers through a new online marketplace (B2B2C) being developed by the Ministry of Commerce (MoC). A quota is reserved for businesses owned by women and businesses based outside of Phnom Penh.
This is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Commerce and UNDP which will form one of the key components of Cambodia’s e-commerce acceleration project called Go4eCAM that aims to boost domestic and international opportunities for small and medium enterprises through a digital platform and create over 10,000 new jobs by 2022 as one of the main objectives of GoleCAM.
Cambodia’s e-commerce sector has grown exponentially in the last decade and the enhanced support comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many more businesses to move online. E-commerce and digitisation are seen as crucial to ensure a full rapid and sustained economic recovery for the country.
The Royal Government of Cambodia, particularly the Ministry of Commerce, has stepped up efforts in recent years to strengthen the country’s e-commerce ecosystem including regulatory framework and strategy, such as passing the landmark 2019 E-commerce Law, a set of sub-decree and prakas to ease registration for e-commerce-based businesses, the Consumer Protection Law to protect the rights of online shoppers and businesses, and the recently launched E-commerce Strategy.
In support of Cambodia’s response to COVID-19, UNDP is working to reskill workers, support the onboarding of 1000 small- and medium-sized business into the e-commerce market and promote the adoption of e-commerce across the country through an advocacy campaign to create a robust regulatory environment with support from the Government of Australia.
“The GodeCAM project is launching at the right time, coinciding with the approval of the E-commerce Law and the launch of the E-commerce Strategy. The project will provide many other benefits, including increasing productivity, innovation, business expansion and job creation in Cambodia,” said Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce at the launch of E-commerce Strategy.
Cambodia’s new E-commerce Strategy, combined with the right incentives and investments, could be a game-changer to propel inclusive growth in the recovery from COVID-19. Inclusive investment in people, in skills development and in digital infrastructure for everyone are absolutely crucial, said Mr. Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative.
“Cambodia’s e-commerce sector is rapidly moving forward, driven further by businesses moving online to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. As an EIF contributor and through our projects that support e-commerce regulatory acceleration and uptake, Australia is helping equip Cambodians with the necessary tools and skills to compete in this new economy, ensuring that Cambodia’s digital future will be inclusive,” said Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia.
“Cambodia has great potential on e-commerce. The recently launched E-commerce strategy, supported by the EIF, with concrete plan of action will tackle bottleneck in critical areas, such as the legal and regulatory framework, ICT infrastructure, digital skills and SME support.
Together with the GoteCAM project and strong partnership on the ground, I strongly believe that Cambodia is putting in place a conductive ecosystem necessary to boost e-commerce, export competitiveness, promote entrepreneurship and tap into new sources of growth in the digital era,” said Dr. Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, Executive Secretariat for the EIF at the WTO. Heng Panha – AKP