On 27 June, the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Australian Government jointly launched the first phase of a digital registration and licensing portal for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), handicrafts and industrial factories. This initiative streamlines formalisation by replacing paper-based procedures, minimising required in-person visits, expediting processing times and simplifying payment. 


The launch ceremony was presided over by His Excellency Dr Aun Pornmoniroth, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance, along with other government leaders and foreign dignitaries, during the 1st National Day of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. It brought together entrepreneurs, representatives from business associations, ministry-institutions and development partners. 


Through support from Australia’s flagship Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development (CAPRED) program, the digital platform was developed by the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation (MISTI) to be inclusive, user-friendly and accessible through any digital device. The single portal streamlines three legal processes: 1) requesting a Prakas to establish SMEs or handicrafts, 2) applying for license or renewal of license to operate SMEs or handicrafts, and 3) applying for the establishment of factories. As a result, SMEs, handicraft and factory owners will be able to apply, pay and receive these important certificates online.


‘The launch of this digital portal marks yet another significant milestone in our journey towards a more efficient and transparent business environment. By simplifying the registration and licensing process, we are reducing the administrative burden on the private sector and fostering a more conducive business environment,’ said His Excellency Hem Vanndy, Minister of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation. 


Prior to its launch, the platform underwent a series of user testing workshops with MISTI officials, registration service providers, and representatives from the SMEs, handicraft and industry sectors, including women and people with disabilities. The resulting interface makes it easier for businesses to navigate the formalisation process.


‘This platform is a testament to our collaborative efforts with Cambodia. We are confident it will help remove barriers; unlock Cambodia's potential in the SMEs, handicrafts and industry sectors; and contribute to a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable Cambodian economy,’ said Mr Andreas Zurbrugg, Australian Chargé d'affaires to Cambodia. 


With only 13% of Cambodian SMEs formally registered, the platform aims to increase formalisation, enabling SMEs to improve access to finance, markets and governmental support, ultimately boosting productivity, competitiveness and appeals for foreign direct investment.