Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the closing session of 2023 annual review meeting and 2024 directives setting, and the inauguration of the Techo Sen building of the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI) [Unofficial Translation]

CMF:

(1) Strengthen the development base by promoting economic sustainability, resilience and job creation

The policy of the Royal Government of the seventh legislative term is to strengthen the basis for development. Promoting a sustainable and resilient economy and creating more jobs is the main goal of the Royal Government […] in order to make a country prosperous, it is necessary to increase the income of each citizen to a certain level […] in Cambodia, we need to recognize that MSMEs are the foundation of our economy. In rich OECD countries, according to the data, 95% of the companies in those countries are MSMEs […], according to the latest standard data by 2018, more than 99% are companies of this type in Cambodia. I do not expect that in the next 20 to 30 years, our country will be dominated by big companies […] these MSMEs are still the basis that we need to promote […]

(2) Encourage MSMEs, including the informal economy, to function and thrive

Setting up plan in job creation is to strengthen our economic base […] especially in relation to the MISTI to encourage functioning of these MSMEs. I have seen many MSMEs and products […] we have grown, but there is still a lot of potential to go further. We need to figure out how to strive the working systems and structures to increase the ecosystem and other incentives for micro, small and medium enterprises and handicrafts, including many informal sectors […]

(3) Attracting the informal economy by promoting the benefits

I announce two key programs among the six priority programs to help the informal economy (for which I emphasize) the need to know where they are, so that we can help them. The purpose of the data collection is to find out where our micro and small enterprises are and what kind of enterprises they are. We invite them into one system, at their free wills. We try to attract them by the marketing method though promoting awareness of the benefits that the Royal Government provides to them (through the system), and for them to see the benefits of entering the system rather than staying outside […]

(4) MSMEs employ 70% of the country or nearly 60% of GDP.

In this regard, we provide principles, policies and concessions, and the reorganization of tax systems and other systems to ensure that (self-employed entrepreneurs) enter (the) system so that we can easily communicate with each other and organize together a total force. Our country is small, our population is small, but if the people have a strong base, it does not matter so much about the quantity. The quality does. The number of enterprises combined is tens of thousands, but not as many as in other countries. If we can unite and help each other, depending on the sectors they involved, I think this will make it works. Currently, if we look at the percentage of employment nationwide, about 70% is provided by micro/small enterprises. Percentage of GDP is almost 60% […]

(5) The world grows because of innovations

The world is growing because of new products that people never thought of in 10 to 20 years before […] generally, we must encourage innovation. I look at the evolution of technology and AI, I am sure that for the time ahead, most of the business in the world will be spearheaded by MSMEs as it increases the ability to use fewer people, and yield large production […] I would encourage the private sector, especially those in the informal economy, to understand and embrace the policies offered by the government so that we can work together to create a great economic force […] the partnership between the private sector and the government, especially the MSMEs, is a good force. I urge the Ministry, which has promoted this work, to continue to encourage the compilation and preparation of policies, especially the implementation of the related mechanism […]

(6) It takes creativity and productivity to compete

(We must have) effective and sustainable implementation mechanisms. There should not be too many mechanisms. Sometimes multiple mechanisms become competing mechanisms. Where our mechanism is small/limited in number, and no longer united, it becomes even smaller. Do not forget that we produce to serve both domestic and foreign supplies. Even domestically, we have to produce to compete with imported products […] if we are together as a handicraft, we can raise capital, raise skills can produce competitive. We cannot impose a ban on imports. The only option is to bring our creativity and productivity to the competition. It means that one day customers will resort to buying local products without having to force them […]

(7) The private sector participates in thinking and implementing, while the state facilitates a long-term competitive approach

What the state can do is just setting up a coordination mechanism, providing some principles, while the private sector is the one who thinks and makes suggestions […] sometimes our resources are less, but together we can endeavor […] we live in a competitive world. Globalization is what we have to face with. In this regard, most of the competition is economic. We started our (socio-)economic policy six months ago, focusing on economic diplomacy. Leaders of other countries are doing the same economic diplomacy thing. Leaders everywhere go to the private sector. That demands competition. The government can only open the door. But the entrants are the private sector. We call them to come in and we are going out to them, […]

(8) Collaborate with friends outside but in priority strengthen internal capacity, including the private sector

We have gone out to meet the private sector abroad, but do not forget the private sector inside the country. I really want us to have own local products and be self-breathing in all areas. We will strive to strengthen (internal capacity to compete). Inevitably, we have to work with friends outside, but the priority remains to strengthen the internal capacity of the Cambodian private sector […] at the inauguration of the bridge at Chak Angre Krom and Prek Pra, in front of the Chinese Ambassador, I said that Cambodia will continue to build infrastructure and hope that in the future, Cambodia will be able to build new highways infrastructure, both underground and on the ground using the Cambodian human resource and companies […]

(9) MISTIS to strengthen and expand ownership, develop legal standards to assist MSMEs and the informal economy

We need to strengthen the private sector. This is the direction in providing assistance because we need to strengthen the foundation for us to breath in by ourselves, to encourage more self-ownership, even if we cannot separate from the outside world. In this sense, in relation to the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, (MISTI) which has the core responsibility of the Royal Government in helping to promote MSMEs and the informal economy sector, needs to pay attention to the preparation of various legal standards for this strengthening efforts as quick as possible […]./.

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