A total of 19,072 companies were successfully registered on the Online Business Registration Platform – also known as the “Single Portal” – as of November 2, the finance ministry reported, in an achievement seen as a reflection of government efforts to improve the ease of doing business in Cambodia.

Additionally, since the platform’s inception, 12,312 businesses have made reservations to complete the registration process at a later date. The average time for completing the registration process remains eight days.

The government launched the platform on June 15, 2020 to streamline the registration process for companies, as part of a package of sweeping reforms aimed at improving the business and investment environment in Cambodia to better compete internationally, especially during the Covid-19 crisis.

In its initial phase, just six ministries and state-run institutions were linked to the Single Portal: the finance, interior, commerce and labour ministries, and the General Department of Taxation (GDT) and Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng hailed the Single Portal as being emblematic of the post-Covid-19 era as well as the shift to a digital economy, commenting that vibrant macroeconomic conditions have prevailed since the government moved to allow the full resumption of socio-economic activity early last November.

“We in the private sector are very supportive of new government reforms involving advanced technologies and solutions to ease the burden of doing business. The [Single Portal] speeds up the registration process and saves not only time, but bureaucratic hassles and costs,” he told The Post on November 15.

Speaking to The Post on the same day, Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath credited the enrolment of new businesses into the Single Portal to the convenient underlying services provided by the government, but noted that unregistered enterprises tend to be afraid to being hit by fines and related legal fees.

“Online business registration not only makes things easier for businesspeople, but given how convenient and quick it is, it’s also attracting new businesses.

“The online platform is also good for macroeconomic performance, since government oversight of registered businesses would make interventions and stimulus support easier to manage in the event of a crisis,” he said.

On September 1, 2021, the government deployed Phase II of the platform integrating four new agencies – the Non-Bank Financial Services Authority’s (NBFSA) Real Estate Business and Pawnshop Regulator (REBPB), and the industry, tourism and telecoms ministries.

In June this year, Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth underscored that the Single Portal is part of the government’s “proactive” reform efforts, and was established on three principles: reducing unnecessary procedures, reducing costs, and reducing review times.

“I firmly believe that with the close cooperation of all relevant ministries and institutions, the IT Business Registration Platform – with digital tech at its core – will serve as a valuable basis for the provision of digital public services and opportunities for the national economy,” he said.

The Single Portal can be accessed at registrationservices.gov.kh.