In recent years, Cambodia has been making rapid economic strides. However, the country is still extremely susceptible to shocks. With manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, and construction as four key industries, there is much potential for the country’s private sector – and a great need to continue addressing the conditions for continued growth.
MBI’s focus in Cambodia is engaging directly with business associations to equip firms with the skills and knowledge needed to advocate for better policies that encourage business formalization and growth.
ANGEL INVESTOR GROUPS IN CAMBODIA AND LAO PDR
To invest in and mentor local SMEs, with MBI support, angel investor groups were launched in Cambodia and Lao PDR, respectively. Because the Lao group was launched by the Prime Minister of Australia during his visit to the ASEAN Leader’s Summit in Vientiane, the angel investors obtained extensive local and international publicity. In future, the Lao and Cambodian groups may become chapters of the Mekong Angel Investor Network (MAIN) or another regional network.
BUSINESS INFORMATION CENTER (BIC) IN CAMBODIA
Following a survey MBI facilitated in 2016 on whether a business information center (BIC) would be useful, the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia (YEAC) and the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce will establish the BIC in 2017. This will promote transparency and effectiveness by providing SMEs with information about business laws and regulations, as well as business opportunities and support services. Encouragingly for the BIC’s long-term sustainability, 87% of more than 200 business owners who were surveyed indicated that the BIC is needed, and they would be willing to pay for the BIC’s services.