Representatives from the private sector believe that the modernisation of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) with its Qualified Investment Project Online (QIP Online) system will enhance convenience, build confidence and reduce costs, positioning the country as a transparent and highly competitive investment destination in the region.

CDC first vice-president Sun Chanthol recently chaired a meeting to assess the progress of the initiative, focused on evaluating recent updates and offering guidance to the technical team for system improvements, aiming to ensure a comprehensive and efficient outcome at its official launch, as per the council.

“QIP Online is a system designed to allow investors to easily, quickly and transparently apply for QIP status with the CDC through an online platform,” it explained.

“The project to modernise [QIP registration] is crucial, reflecting a long-term vision and the government’s high priority to advance digitalisation in the CDC and align with the government’s seventh mandate priorities: People, Roads, Water, Electricity and Technology,” it added.

“QIP Online will streamline investor registration, reduce complications and allow investors to submit their documents [digitally] without physically visiting the CDC. [It] is expected to attract more investors to Cambodia,” stated Chanthol.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), praised the government’s adoption of technology, which has simplified processes, reduced the time spent on paperwork and minimised in-person meetings with officials.

“In recent years, the government’s transition to digital systems, like business registration, has significantly reduced time and costs. It also fosters transparency and instils confidence in the private sector,” he remarked.

“I am pleased to learn that the CDC is adopting the online investment registration system. This will facilitate … applications for national and international investors anytime and anywhere,” he added. 

Heng said he has strong hopes that the system will make the process easier and more reliable and ensure faster and more transparent approval of projects.

Ky Sereyvath, an economics researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, commented on the significance of adopting modern technology systems in key government bodies. 

He believes this will foster a better business and investment environment, boosting confidence among local and international businesspeople and financiers.

“I am confident that with the government’s plans for the digital economy in the coming years, it is vital to embrace technological modernisation in state institutions, thereby creating a robust ecosystem to inspire confidence and facilitate the private sector,” he said.

In 2023, the CDC sanctioned 260 investment projects (247 new and 21 production expansions), including 71 in special economic zones (SEZs), representing a total investment of $4.9 billion and expected to generate around 307,000 jobs, according to its January press release.

Industrial financing accounted for about 92% of the ventures, with approximately 46% of total capital investment coming from the sector. 

Infrastructure, making up only 2.6% of total projects, contributed around 44% of the capital, reflecting the considerable funding required in the sector. 

Private investment in 2023 saw an increase of around 22% compared to 2022, as per the CDC.