The Commerce Ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Wing Bank (Cambodia) to add its digital payments system to an online marketplace for small and medium-sized Cambodian companies (SMEs).
CambodiaTrade.com allows SMEs to sell their products online to other companies and private customers (B2B2C).
Wing Bank CEO Han Peng Kwan said the inclusion of Wing in the e-marketplace will help the government with its goal of replacing cash with digital payments and also allow companies to make and receive payments in a fast and secure manner. “SMEs stand to benefit from this MoU by leveraging Wing Bank’s unique strengths, especially its digital payment system, multi-function Wing Money App and access to nearly 10,000 Wing Cash Xpress agents scattered across every district in Cambodia,” he said.
The e-marketplace started accepting applications from SMEs in June. To sign up they need to be registered with the Commerce Ministry, hold a business licence and value-added tax identification number. In order to promote local enterprise and create jobs in the Kingdom all the companies who use the marketplace have to manufacture their products in Cambodia.
“Together, we will build a vibrant digital economy and society by laying the foundations for promoting digital adoption and transformation in the community by promoting new economic growth and improve social welfare in the post-pandemic era,” Kwan said.
At the end of 2019 there were just over 52,000 SMEs registered with the Commerce Ministry and the launch of CambodiaTrade is seen by some as a way of encouraging more companies to fill out the official paperwork and pay their taxes. There are also concerns that the government is taking a Big Brother approach to the internet by trying to steer companies to its own commerce platform and forcing internet service providers to route all online traffic through the National Internet Gateway.
The director of the Centre for Inclusive Digital Economy at Cambodia’s Asian Vision Institute said CambodiaTrade is a step in the right direction to promoting businesses online in Cambodia. Chhem Siriwat said it complements, rather than threatens private online marketplaces. Siriwat said by providing an alternative portal for SMEs to sell their products online CambodiaTrade will help companies increase their access to both the local and international markets.
“Numerous platforms established by the private sector have already proven to enhance the e-commerce ecosystem in Cambodia and will continue to do so in line with public sector initiatives,” Siriwat said. “Furthermore, system integration of digital payments with local banks and financial service providers will contribute towards Cambodia’s move to a more cashless society and inclusive digital economy. The public sector plays a crucial role in regulating the private sector for safe and secure business practices, while still allowing the market to operate on its own, driven by innovation.”