A total of 25,212 companies, with cumulative “registered share capital” of $7.51 billion, were successfully registered on the “Phase I” component of the Online Business Registration Platform – also known as the “Single Portal” – in its 1,066 days of existence as of May 16 at 2pm, according to the Online Business Registration Service (“OBRS”).

These figures respectively represent increases of 22 per cent and 29 per cent from 20,693 firms and $5.81 billion in total “registered share capital” reported by the OBRS – a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Finance – for January 2 at 2pm, just 134 days earlier.

Approvals for the Single Portal’s Phase I component, which was launched on June 15, 2020, are granted by six agencies: the finance, interior, commerce and labour ministries, as well as the General Department of Taxation (GDT) and Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

Breaking down the May 16 figure for registered share capital by business activities, “building construction” accounted for the lion’s share at $1.05 billion, followed by “accommodation services” ($888M) “real estate activities involving the use of one’s own, or leased properties” ($777M), “management consulting” ($364M) and “manufacture of wearing apparel, except fur apparel” ($338M). “Others” encompassed $4.09 billion.

Thirty-eight per cent of the companies registered on the Phase I component were women-owned.

As of May 16, a total of 14,882 companies had at some point made reservations to complete the registration process at a later date. Although no registration applications had been rejected as of then, two reservation requests have been declined.

Of note, the government on September 1, 2021 deployed the platform’s Phase II component, integrating four additional agencies – the telecoms, tourism and industry ministries, as well as the Real Estate Business and Pawnshop Regulator (RPR) – to be simultaneously operated with its Phase I counterpart. This was 443 days after the launch of the Single Portal (as well as its Phase I component).

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) director-general Nguon Meng Tech sees the Single Portal as a symbol of the government’s commitment to creating a conducive business environment, and says that the platform has garnered much support from the private sector.

“The business community applauds the Online Business Registration Platform, a part of the government’s reforms, for cutting the amount of time spent processing paperwork and reducing total fees.

“This marks a highly encouraging step forward in the government’s efforts to foster a healthy and sound business climate,” he claimed.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath commented to The Post on May 18 that the rise in registrations on the Single Portal reflects the confidence and trust that the business community has in the platform.

“We appreciate the government’s moves to modernise online business registration, inspiring trust by decreasing processing times and fees, as well as eliminating certain unnecessary expenses,” he said.

The government launched the Single Portal on June 15, 2020 in a bid to streamline the registration process for companies.

The move was made as part of a sweeping reform package aimed at improving the business and investment environment in Cambodia to compete more effectively on the global stage, especially against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis and Fourth Industrial Revolution.