Online Business Registration Gets Upgrade

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth during the official launch of the Online Business Registration phase II. Photo from Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Expanded system cuts costs and chances of corruption

PHNOM PENH--An online system to streamline business registrations has been upgraded to expand its scope and improve the user experience.

The Online Business Registration phase II means applying for a license or permits will take only three to seven working days in more sectors if applications meet all requirements, Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said.

It would let businesses start up more quickly with a reduction in costs and procedures.

Phase I involved applications to the ministries of Interior; Economy and Finance; Commerce; and Labour and Vocational Training, as well as the General Department of Taxation and the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

Phase II brought in the ministries of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation; Tourism;  Post and Telecommunications;  and the Real Estate Business and Pawnshop Regulator of the Non-Bank Financial Services Authority. It was launched officially on Wednesday.

“This phase II will allow businesses to fully start their companies or enterprises in accordance with application regulations,” Pornmoniroth said.

“They can apply for licenses or permits, pay fees through digital systems, and download digital certificates, license or permits from anywhere at any time without having to travel or meet officials in person.”

Pech Pisey, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said online registration or any E-platform is an effective way to reduce corruption due to a reduction in direct contacts between businesses and the ministry officers.

“I think this is an outstanding step, which we welcome,” Pisey said.

“The presence of E-governance is leading to transparent management by the government although there are still little problems.”

Pisey was still concerned about the effectiveness of the E-platform, saying the process is complicated and means some enterprises must seek help from brokers.

Brokers were not involved in corruption because they had a professional fee built into the packages. However, the use of the money in the packages remains uncertain and some brokers may use it wrongly, meaning some corruption would remain.

However, there would be solutions for this as the relevant ministries are determined to improve the digital transformation in Cambodia. He would be more than happy to contribute to enhancing the quality and effectiveness of any digital platform.

The OBR Phase II

Aun Pornmoniroth said that in the OBR Phase II, businesses or enterprises can apply for licenses or permits based on their type of business.

As part of the "Cambodia Digital Economy and Social Policy Framework 2021-2035", phase II aims to take advantage of digital technology to strengthen economic growth and improve social welfare based on the new normal, he said.

With the extra ministries and institutions participating, users can apply online for prakas to establish small and medium enterprises, tour operator and travel agent tourism licenses, hotel and accommodation service tourism licenses, restaurant tourism licenses, license/certificate/permits to operate in ICT sector, license/certificate/permits to operate in the post sector, pawn business licenses, and transfer-of-title business licenses.

Pornmoniroth said that a comprehensive and highly effective information technology platform that has been developed in phase II is based on the work and principles of phase I.

Moreover, the business registration services of phase I and phase II have been operating on the Cambodia Data Exchange (CamDX), he said. This allows the ministry and government institutions to exchange data about companies and other essential data without companies having to give duplicate data to different institutions.

Further plan

Pornmoniroth said other public services will be launched online as a result of a sub-decree issued on August 24.

“This sub-decree will become a significant legal framework that paves the way for the private sector to participate in data exchange with the Royal Government of Cambodia to promote synergy and co-creation in business, economics, and society,” he said.

He said the private sector is crucial in kicking off digitalization. He encouraged businesses in the private sector to start thinking about digital transformation to expand their markets and help promote online shopping or e-commerce.

As of August 24, 7,715 businesses had registered on the platform with a total capital of about $3 billion, he said.

The largest sectors by capital include 25.32% of the construction sector, 16.44% for import-export, purchase, sale, and repair of vehicles and motorcycles, 15.53% for real estate activities, 14.3% for manufacturing and 8.22% for finance and insurance.  

Related Articles