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Smart Axiata highlights commitment to sustainable development in its latest report

Taing Rinith / Khmer Times Share:
SmartEdu Scholarship 2019: Thomas Hundt, the CEO of Smart Axiata, posing with the Minister of Education Hang Choun Naron and the winners of the SmartEdu Scholarship Programme in 2019. Supplied

Smart Axiata, a leading telecommunication service provider in Cambodia, yesterday published its 2019 sustainability report which highlights the company’s devotion to the country’s sustainable development.

Entitled – “Enriching Lives, Sustaining Communities” – the 2019 report highlights Smart Axiata’s contribution to the Kingdom’s economy, its sustainable practices and its influential Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes which benefit numerous local communities.

In terms of the economy, Smart’s contributions account for 1.7 percent of the GDP, equal to $459 million, and 2.1 percent of the total tax revenue, equal to $94 million, to the government –not to mention that the telecommunication service giant supports almost 50,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.

“Honouring our commitment to the nation’s development through fulfilling our tax and regulatory fee payment obligations is at the core of our business operations. Following through on our sustainability framework brings great benefits to communities where our support for digital literacy, digital education, sport and environmental protection helps to build resilience and opportunities, especially for the younger generation who are the custodians of the Kingdom’s future, ” said Thomas Hundt, the CEO of Smart Axiata.

According to the report, over one percent of Smart’s annual revenues, equivalent to more than $3 million, went to its CSR programmes to support education, environment, community sports and tech innovation.

One example is of the donation of over $200,000 to make the Smile Charity Concert happen, supporting Kantha Bopha Hospital in their mission to provide free access to medical and health care for all Cambodian children. Another is the SmartStart Young Innovator Programme and the SmartEdu Scholarship Programme which have provided Cambodia’s young people with access to the best digital mentoring and training.

Digital Literacy Program 2019: Cambodian high school students attending Smart Axiata’s Digital Literacy Programme in 2019. Supplied

Furthermore, with the investment of more than $2 million in eight local digital startups, Smart has helped to create 1,400 million jobs and generate $2.7 million in total income, while at the same time offering a wide range of digital solutions for the people. “We strive to go beyond our normal sustainability practices to help develop the digital technology ecosystem in the Kingdom – for example with our preparations to launch 5G,” Hundt added.

In July 2019, Smart Axiata successfully carried out the first 5G live showcase in Cambodia. Smart were the first mobile telecommunications company in Cambodia to launch 4G in 2014, followed by 4G+ in 2016 and 4G+ with HD Voice (VoLTE) and 4.5G in 2017.

 

Thanks to Smart’s tireless efforts to give back to the community, the company has been recognised with numerous awards including the “Best Contributor to the CBRD Fund” in 2019 by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, and an Asia Responsible Enterprise Award under the Social Empowerment category in September 2020.  In their a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen in late 2019, senior executives from Malaysia’s Axiata Group Berhad and CEO of Smart Axiata Hundt reaffirmed their commitment to maintain their position as a key development partner of Cambodia.

“Even though 2020 has turned out to be unprecedentedly challenging in all aspects, Smart Axiata will continue to create great positive impacts in all that we do, while navigating through these tough and uncertain times so that the socio-economy can recover and we can rise together as a nation,” Hundt said.

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