The Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation plans to launch KhmerSME by the end of this year. The new website is designed to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to comprehensive business information, as well as ASEAN and global markets.
Plans for the site coincide with the ASEAN Access Small and Medium Enterprises website, launched on June 16 to serve the ASEAN region.
Ministry director-general for Small and Medium Enterprises and Handicrafts Chhea Layhy likened KhmerSME to a national news website for the Kingdom’s SMEs.
He told The Post: “The creation of the KhmerSME website aims to meet the challenges of small and medium enterprises in Cambodia. We found that they lacked access to business information.”
He said the website would be used as a “core place” to provide information to Cambodian business owners, and invited the public to visit Telegram groups @tme and @msmeskh to stay up to date with the latest information.
“In the first step, we won’t yet be able to sell products on the website, but only provide information to business owners. If they want to look up information related to markets, financing, technology transfer, export-import, start-ups, they’ll be able to find the information on this site,” he said.
Thaung Thyda, managing director of Kampot-Kep salt processing firm Thaung Trading Co Ltd, hailed the website, stressing that it would help all entrepreneurs, especially the women, who need to build and enhance their capacity for emerging markets.
“We’ve seen some of the challenges of entrepreneurship, involving our supply and value chains, especially in moving towards a more competitive market, so it’ll be a great opportunity for everyone to learn more,” she said.
Layhy said KhmerSME would be linked to the ASEAN Access website to support the start-up and business development of Cambodian micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises.
“ASEAN Access provides comprehensive information on trade and access to markets in ASEAN and other parts of the world,” he said.
Through ASEAN Access, SMEs can read up on trade-related events, new products, and business and partnership opportunities, as well as obtain the latest information on doing business and trade in the ASEAN region.
ASEAN Access is backed by the “Strengthening Structures for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises in ASEAN” project, which is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and implemented by German international development organisation Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
As of end-2019, there were 52,154 formally registered SMEs in the Kingdom, with 824,245 employees, according to the latest industry ministry figures.