Cambodia pledges $5m to strengthen tech startups

The funds will help tech companies link up with the rest of the world.

Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen announced on Tuesday that his government will appropriate USD 5 million to provide support for startups in the country, according to local publication Khmer Times.

The entrepreneurship fund is aimed at nurturing the country’s nascent tech startup sector by providing various forms of assistance, including financing, training, as well as consultations on technical developments, marketing, and production.

Hun Sen made the announcement at the 2019 Cambodia Outlook Conference, whose theme was “digital transformation toward Industry 4.0.” During his speech, the prime minister pointed out that Cambodia has no intention of creating a Southeast Asian Silicon Valley or unicorn startup. Instead, the country’s entrepreneurs want to leapfrog the traditional stages of development, and successfully move away from a predominantly agricultural economy to establish one that is reliant on manufacturing and services, where small and large firms can connect to the global value chains.

Cambodia, one of the frontier markets in Southeast Asia, is known for a lack of top-down initiatives that could nurture its tech industry. In that vacuum, other parties have injected capital and expertise. Last week, the United Nations Development Program and 4PX Express formulated an agreement to bootstrap Cambodia’s e-commerce startups.

This article was initially published by KrAsia and Zhixin Tan (editor: Brady Ng), on the 27 Mar 2019.

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