Tax issues, lack of funding trouble SMEs

May 13th at 08:21
13-05-2024 08:21:42+07:00

Tax issues, lack of funding trouble SMEs

International Mother’s Day was marked with a bustling marketplace for small and medium business enterprises (SMEs) on Sunday at Raffles Hotel Le Royal. Among the challenges named by the participating vendors were the complex tax regulations facing small businesses in Cambodia and the lack of funding.


From home décor to culinary arts and craft, vendors at the marketplace were on a mission to promote Cambodia’s Ultimate Lifestyle Trade (CULT)’s theme of ethical and sustainable lifestyle.

“Understanding clearly the tax declaration process and details because when we are a small business, we don’t have the funds to seek the services of an accountant,” Alice Varini of Alice Varini Jewelry said. Regarding help from the government, Varini suggested more training about tax management and declaration, in addition to more events locally to promote local brands.

The biggest difficulties facing small businesses in Cambodia today often revolve around access to resources and funding, especially for artisanal endeavors, said Noémie Quinquin of Craft Baitang. Navigating bureaucratic processes and competing with larger, more established businesses can pose significant challenges.

Financial capital, competition with large competitors and e-commerce, finding qualified staff and regulatory restrictions were the challenges identified by Phkar Suor. The government should extend support especially for organic and eco-friendly products by providing more training and education, new market approach like providing export opportunities, trade agreements, insights of market trends, streamline regulations and licensing process to make it easier for businesses to operate and comply with legal requirements.

For the spokesperson of Ming brand, handicraft businesses face the biggest challenge in their low purchasing power for which they sought more support for local products, particularly artisanal products with expectations of surging tourist numbers in Cambodia. Since the advent of the pandemic, aggravated by international wars working capital is also in short supply.

“Small businesses like mine would greatly benefit from government support in terms of access to funding and resources, as well as streamlined regulations and administrative processes,” said the spokesperson for Phkar Suor. Providing training and assistance programs tailored to the needs of small businesses can also be immensely helpful.

Quinquin said they contribute to the community by preserving traditional Cambodian craftsmanship and promoting local artisans. They also prioritise sustainability in their practices, using eco-friendly materials and supporting ethical production methods. They also actively engage with the community through various initiatives and collaborations, fostering a sense of pride and empowerment.

About giving back to the community Varini said they provide employment to Khmers in addition to providing training in gemology. They also give training in new jewelry design and colour assortment using 100 percent local gems.

The purpose of the market is to promote local brands especially SME’s and give them visibility and access to a market place so they can sell their products, said the organizer Anne-Laure Bartenay, Owner of CULT. “We use this occasion to create an event, so people can buy gifts for their mothers,” she added.



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