Phnom Penh, 25 August 2021 – As part of its e-commerce acceleration programme financed by the Government of Australia, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPTC) recently launched a coalition called #StrongerWithDigital. The objective is to bridge the knowledge and skills gaps for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who have a basic online presence, but have not yet been able to convert their online operations to respond to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The coalition has adopted a two-pronged approach to increase digital commerce activities among consumers and MSMEs by utilizing a multimedia awareness campaign and a targeted training programme. The multimedia awareness campaign aims to reach 3,100,000 consumers and 100,000 MSMEs to encourage an increase in buying and selling through e-commerce and other digital platforms. The coalition’s training programme will further target 1,000 MSMEs to provide them with the needed skills to shift from offline to online commerce, and to successfully sell online.
Executed by The Idea Consultancy, the coalition is comprised of fintech and e-commerce platforms such as ABA, NHAM24, BLOC, TADA, GlobeSO, MyPhsar, Khmum and TING!. One of the milestones will take place from September 17-19 with The Grand Online Shopping Festival, which is a first of its kind three-day online and multi-platform shopping festival in Cambodia. The festival will provide an unprecedented opportunity for both vendors and customers to promote and access deals and a range of products from wherever they are located across the country.
The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPTC) has strongly supported the initiative. The Ministry will continue to support the MSMEs through information and collateral to enable them to digitalize their businesses, and sell online legally and successfully through the coalition. “In this regard, we are aligned with the UNDP and the Government of Australia in their analysis and approach to the issue of digital adoption, starting with our small business owners. One of MPTC’s many roles in the government is to govern and promote connectivity and the digital transformation of Cambodia, which will continue to contribute to developing the methodology and support functions of the programme. This will move forward the agenda of the #StrongerWithDigital coalition by expanding stakeholders to include government officers, and supporting and aligning the direction according to our strategy,” said H.E. Mr. Vandeth Chea, Minister of Post and Telecommunications.
“Cambodia’s digital transformation in response to COVID-19 has been rapid. However, not all businesses are equipped to move online - including many micro and small businesses which are the backbone of Cambodia’s economy. Australia is pleased to contribute to building a more inclusive and resilient digital economy by helping businesses acquire these skills” said Australian Ambassador Pablo Kang.
"In collaboration with the Government of Australia, UNDP has initiated this digital coalition in support of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s digital economy transformation, which is expected to contribute to building a robust economy amidst and post the COVID-19 pandemic. It is encouraging to see the strong support from our strategic partners, including the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Education, the MPTC, the Cambodia Digital Tech Association, the Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association, the Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia, Volunteer Nation, and private sector actors. It is even more encouraging to have the MPTC taking the lead and ownership of the coalition from here on,” said Ms. Sonali Dayaratne, Officer-in-Charge at UNDP Cambodia.