Celebrating World MSME Day 2023

Phnom Penh, 30 June 2023 – On 27 June 2023, we joined the global community in celebrating the crucial role and incredible contributions of the Micro-, Small-and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) in driving country’s economic prosperity, thriving innovation and creating job, during the annual International MSME Day.  

In this-year celebration, ARISE Plus Cambodia was delighted to join with the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MISTI), Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia (YEAC), Cambodia Women Entrepreneur Association (CWEA) and other GIZ-implemented projects (ASEAN-SME and ICONE) co-organizing the MSME-Day conference under the theme of “Resilience and Rebuilding: MSMEs for Sustainable Development” on 27-28 June 2023.

The two-day event was hosted by H.E. Son Seng Hourt, the MISTI Secretary of State, and the German Ambassador to Cambodia, His Excellency MR. STEFAN MESSERER, and attended by MSME owners, relevant government ministries and agencies, development partners and other key stakeholders.  

The event provided a platform for discussions and exchanges on challenges surrounding post-pandemic recovery and key inputs to help to boost the economy and businesses in the new normal and beyond. In addition, local SMEs had opportunities to match, showcase and network to expand their business and access new markets.

On this auspicious occasion, ARISE Plus Cambodia also is pleased to highlight its efforts in supporting Cambodian SMEs, particularly in improving capacity and competitiveness to reap the benefits of international trading opportunities, especially those offered by the ASEAN Economic Community.

As noted by H.E. Son Seng Hourt, at the conference during his opening remark, Cambodia’s economic performance has been improved and continued to grow. Among other growth-driving factors, H.E. said the country’s economy is expected to thrive further through free trade agreements (FTAs), in which Cambodia achieved so far under ASEAN’s FTA, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) and the bilateral FTAs, such as with China and Korea.

He added Cambodia is in the discussion to establish more bilateral FTAs with other countries and opening wider markets for Cambodian products to boost exports, thus business and trading community are strongly encouraged to seize these opportunities and gain the benefits.

This is in line with the project’s initiative that has been working to enhance Cambodian SMEs integration into regional and global value chains through improving their capacities for meeting international market-entry requirements and an improved business environment based on the trade advocacy work.

The project’s intervention areas in this workstream included providing the SMEs better access to validated trade information, public-private dialogue mechanisms and capacity building.

To date, the project supported selected SMEs that aimed at starting, expanding, and/or diversifying exports through implementing their Export Development Strategy (EDS). Different types of Technical Assistance (TA) support measures were provided, including assisting to obtain ISO-based International Quality Standard Certifications (IQSC). In return, the SMEs’ performance was seen improved over the past years in term of annual turnover, export value, and direct and indirect employment.

In addition, to address the challenge of the lack of qualified International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) consultants, the project also trained a pool of local IRCA certified auditors that are capable to conduct advisory services to SMEs in passing certification audits and obtaining the necessary export certifications.

Regarding the better access to validated trade information, the project joined with its partner to host a series of 10 topical information events, called the “SME Export Talks”. The Talks covered various topic related to market dynamics, regulations and export opportunities, that are essential for the SMEs to navigate and analyze potential opportunities for their products/services.

The SMEs were also supported to enhance confidence engaging in advocacy on trade-related topics through Public Private Dialogue (PPD) mechanism. ARISE Plus partnered with three major business associations in Cambodia to enhance online communication and networking capabilities, and provide platform for SMEs to raise export-related concerns or issues, which were collected and brought further to discuss for the solutions at the level of private sector working groups under the national Government Private Sector Dialogue Forum (G-PSF).

Moreover, a number of companies in Cambodia were received a training series on “Trade Policy & Negotiation” that aimed to boost their capacity to engage effectively with the Government and vice versa on issues related to trade policy, and towards more effective trade policy negotiations.

The project is proud to take part in supporting the Cambodian SMEs in their preparedness for the economic integration and helping them to capitalize on international trading opportunities. The project hopes we can together build a well-functioning and resilient MSME community for a successful recovery and flourish, and accelerate the inclusive and sustainable development, innovation, and decent work for all.

Co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), ARISE Plus Cambodia is implemented by GIZ and set to support greater connectivity and economic integration between Cambodia and the rest of ASEAN through three intervention areas, including (1) improving customs, trade facilitation and standards, (2) strengthening Institutional capacities and improving regulatory practices, and (3) enhancing private sector engagement, notably of SMEs, and preparedness for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Sovannary KY, Communication Specialist



June 30, 2023


Stay Connected

Our newsletters keep you informed about upcoming events, publications and issues covered on the GIZ website. Click on project and programmes to find Arise+ Cambodia.

Visit GIZ