The potential benefits to SMEs of internationalization are well-known: access to new markets, gains from economies of scale, increased productivity and overall improved competitiveness. However, SMEs often face major constraints when they want to initiate cross-border trade, and many of them benefit from external support and advice in making this jump.
ARISE Plus Cambodia, together with GIZ's ASEAN SME Project, commissioned this study summarizing the barriers for SME internationalization and documenting the existing landscape of business support services provided in Cambodia. The report’s main objectives are to map the main stakeholders involved, assess the existing capacity of these service providers and identify the gaps in services provided to SMEs for internationalization. The overall goal is to provide policymakers, development partners, business associations, SMEs and other interested readers with a comprehensive overview of the SME support landscape in Cambodia.
The first part of the report covers regional good policies and activities to support SMEs as they expand their businesses overseas through cross-border trading relationships, or what we call SME internationalization. This part includes a short analysis of the SME ecosystem in Cambodia, providing an understanding of the existing barriers for Cambodian SMEs.
The second part of the report presents the results of a field study of service providers to SMEs in Cambodia. Expert interviews have been conducted with more than 50 stakeholders to give an overview of the available SME support services available in Cambodia. This part presents a comprehensive overview of the key Cambodia-based actors promoting SME internationalization: government bodies, donor-funded projects, business associations and the main players in the private sector. In addition, an overview of services targeted to some important SME categories (women entrepreneurs) or sectors (IT, e-commerce and agribusiness) has been included. Service providers are also listed by type of service, with a focus on internationalization:
- access to information
- capacity development
- legal and tax support services
- access to finance
- SME clusters
- trade, logistics and customs