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Success of Cambodia’s Online Business Registration Platform

by Surya Narayan
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In a span of 1,120 days, the Online Business Registration Platform (OBRP) in Cambodia has achieved remarkable success. As of July 9 at 11:59pm, a total of 27,095 companies have been successfully registered on the platform. This represents a 31% increase from the previous figure of 20,693 firms registered just 188 days earlier.

One of the key indicators of the platform’s success is the combined “registered share capital” of these companies, which amounts to an impressive $8.03 billion. This marks a significant jump from the previous figure of $5.81 billion.

The OBRP was launched on June 15, 2020, with an initial Phase I sub-platform called the “Single Portal.” This phase connected six ministries and state-run institutions, including the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Labour, the General Department of Taxation (GDT), and the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

Subsequent phases, Phase II and Phase III, were introduced on September 1, 2021, and June 22, 2023, respectively. These phases were designed to run concurrently, with registration matters exclusively handled through the Phase I sub-platform.

The primary objective of the OBRP is to simplify the registration process and other legally-required procedures for businesses operating or planning to operate in Cambodia. This includes procedures related to licenses, permits, and certificates.

To date, a total of 15,633 companies have successfully made reservations to complete the registration process at a later date. Notably, no registration applications have been rejected, although two reservation requests have been declined.

Analyzing the $8.03 billion in registered share capital by “business activity,” the largest share of $1.07 billion is attributed to “building construction.” This is followed by “real estate activities involving the use of one’s own or leased properties” with $905 million. Other notable activities include “accommodation services” ($897 million), “management consulting” ($473 million), and “manufacture of wearing apparel, except fur apparel” ($367 million). The remaining amount of $4.33 billion accounts for miscellaneous categories labeled as “others.”

The OBRS reports that 38% of the companies registered on the OBRP are women-owned, showcasing the platform’s inclusivity.

The success of the OBRP has received praise from Cambodia Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Lim Heng. He acknowledges how the platform simplifies procedures, eliminates redundancies, and saves time and money. The involvement of government agencies in the process fosters public confidence and encourages more business owners to register and legalize their operations.

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, speaking at the launch ceremony for the Phase III sub-platform, emphasized the resilience of the Cambodian economy despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He highlighted the importance of increasing the country’s competitiveness and resilience through digitalization and digital transformation. The OBRP is recognized as a crucial reform aligned with the long-term policies of Cambodia’s digital economy and society.

Overall, the achievements of the Online Business Registration Platform in Cambodia are impressive. The platform’s user-friendly interface, simplified procedures, and inclusive approach have contributed to its success. It has not only encouraged more business owners to register but also facilitated better management and implementation of support and tax-related policies by the government.

Source: The PhnomPenh Post

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