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Private sector upbeat on CambodiaTrade

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Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak is speaking at a launching ceremony of the CambodiaTrade, an e-marketplace that seeks to promote local products on March 31. COMMERCE MINISTRY

Private sector upbeat on CambodiaTrade

The private sector welcomed the official launch of the CambodiaTrade, an e-marketplace that seeks to promote local products, especially those made by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), and bring them online to a wide domestic and international audience.

The Ministry of Commerce on March 31 launched CambodiaTrade, an online platform with integrated marketing solutions regarded as a key component of the Cambodia e-Commerce Development Project (Go4eCAM).

Go4eCAM is financially supported by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) and the government, and is to be implemented by the ministry over the period date July 2020 to June 2023.

Approved in January 2020, the project is a major e-commerce initiative meant to increase economic opportunities and participation in the digital economy among Cambodia’s SMEs, according to ministry’s secretary of state Tek Reth Kamrong.

Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (FASMEC) president Te Taingpor said the launch was “another step” in government efforts to create a market for local producers to sell products online to a wider range of customers.

“I welcome this initiative as it paves the way for more opportunities for SMEs to promote their products more broadly,” he said.

Mak Chamroeun, co-founder of local business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platform Smile Shop, shared Taingpor’s sentiment, saying that CambodiaTrade would help SMEs showcase their products to a substantially wider audience.

He lauded the initiative as “a good starting point”, saying the marketplace would provide SMEs with access to previously unavailable e-commerce tools and a wider online support system.

Even so, Chamroeun asked the ministry to consider collaborating with existing local online marketplaces to expand and ensure the sustainability of CambodiaTrade and potential partners.

At the inauguration, EIF executive director Ratnakar Adhikari highlighted the “good results” of “good cooperation” between the ministry and the Geneva-based global development programme to date.

He praised the Kingdom’s efforts as an ideal example of a country’s implementation of a trade project under the EIF, with the active participation of domestic partners based on the principle of an independent base.

Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak opined that CambodiaTrade would be an important engine for economic diversification as well as domestic and international sales of Cambodian products, which he said is in line with the government’s long-term vision to capitalise on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

He attributed the development of the underlying digital technology to the Kingdom’s industrial development policy, as it pertains to economic diversification, saying the e-marketplace would better enable local SMEs to connect to regional and global value chains.

The minister remarked that the technological revolution and digital transformation brought about by the 4IR are key to boosting the competitiveness of enterprises and business processes, which he said would contribute to improving productivity, increasing exports, creating jobs, and stimulating the national economy.

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