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SMEs seek support to boost market competitiveness

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Te Taing Por, president of the Federation Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (Fasmec). Supplied

The Federation of Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia is calling on support from the government to give incentives on taxes to reduce production costs and increase market competitiveness of SMEs.

Te Taing Por, president of the Federation of Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia, said the association continues to support SMEs that use local raw agriculture materials, including by increasing their capacity. He noted that the efforts aimed to improve the competitiveness of local products, especially when compared to imported products.

The association plans to talk with relevant ministries and institutions to discuss issues faced by SMEs and ask for help to improve businesses that work with raw agriculture materials.

“We want to boost businesses that use raw agriculture materials to produce food products, so we work closely with the relevant ministries to find ways to reduce the cost of production, time and expenses in order to boost local products,” Mr Taing Por said yesterday.

“Currently, local products involve high production costs in comparison to imported finished products, so we try to reduce the cost of production to make our products more competitive,” he added.

The SME Bank, a government initiative to enhance access to funding for local small and medium-sized enterprises, will be available online late this year. Mr Taing Por said the bank will allow more local SMEs to expand their operation.

In addition to customs and excise, other issues faced by SMEs including electricity cost and labour forces, will be raised in the government-private working group meeting on SMEs planned to be held next month.

According to FASMAC, Cambodia has over 500,000 SMEs, of which 150,000 SMEs are enterprises processing raw agricultural material to food products.

An estimated 10 percent of 150,000 SMEs exports to foreign markets, the association said.

Speaking during a workshop held on Friday, Kun Nhim, director-general of the General Department of Customs and Excise of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, encouraged SME owners to discuss incentives on customs and excise for SMEs.

“SMEs are the core backbone of the country’s economy and are driving growth and creating jobs,” Mr Nhim said.

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