The IBeeC strategy
In 2020, the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI) approved a Strategy for promoting an enabling environment for inclusive business in Cambodia (the IBeeC strategy). It is currently prepared for Cabinet endorsement.
The strategy will be published in English and Khmer. You may find the presentation of H.E. Heng Sokkung, Secretary of State at MISTI, on the IBEEC strategy here, and the summary of the IBeeC strategy here.
The IBeeC includes 10 strategic recommendations, such as
- Institutionalizing IB through establishing IB champions, nominating IB focal points in government and business associations, running an IB coordination unit (in MISTI), and establishing a multi-stakeholder IB steering group;
- Raising IB awareness through business associations and others (website, semiars, knowledge products, IB film, information sharing);
- Establishing a transparent and voluntary IB accreditation system in partnership with various government agencies and business associations, resulting in IB awards
- Creating a technical assistance facility for IB promotion including especially business coaching and policy work
- Setting-up a IB risk-reduction fund for impact investors and banks.
- Establishing IB investment incentives and prioritizing in public procurement.
- Doing coherent and regular IB reports to reflect what the country as a whole in doing on IB promotion; and how dedicated private sector investments contribute to development for the B40, and the social dimensions of the international Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Support IB initiatives in ASEAN.
IBeeC promotion is institutionalized through
- -An IB unit in MISTI for coordinating the work on IBeeC implementation
- -Official focal points in various government agencies and business associations, and
- -An IB steering committee comprised of various stakeholders, guiding the IBeeC implementation.
- -In addition, various agencies have identified IB champions (see also “contact” page). There is a lively exchange between the various persons, and MISTI organizes at least once a year an IB champions meeting, the first one being scheduled for February 2021.
MISTI – with the help of iBAN - is currently preparing an action plan for IBeeC implementation. All relevant agencies (government, business associations, companies, impact investors, business accelerators and development partners) in the country will contribute to that action plan, and are requested to commit some activities to promote IB.
Furthermore, MISTI is in the process of approaching development partners for financing a technical assistance for IBeeC implementation, especially for business coaching, advocacy work, knowledge work, and some activities for enhancing Cambodia’s role on IB promotion in the context of ASEAN. MSTI prepared a concept note for the TA and can share this with interested financing or cooperation partners.
Wide support and broad endorsement: The IBeeC development was supported by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN). IBAN is a global development program implemented by the German development cooperation agency GIZ, and financed by the government of Germany and the European Union. Various development partners showed interest in supporting the IBeeC strategy.
IB policy promotion in ASEAN:
Since 2016, various countries in the region (such as Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Viet Nam, and to a certain extend also China) established IB policies, strategies and programs for IB promotion.
In September 2020, the economic ministers of ASEAN (AEM) endorsed the Guidelines for the Promotion of Inclusive Business in ASEAN. The document recommends to all ASEAN governments approving special IB strategies and setting up IB promotion policies and programs. The recommendations are very similar to those actually endorsed by the Cambodian IBeeC.
ASEAN already held 3 ASEAN IB summits. Cambodia, hosting the 2022 ASEAN summit, already committed to make Inclusive Business a major discussion topic of that year round event, including some workshops, hosting the 4th ASEAN IB Summit, and running an IB award for companies.
Cooperation with neighbors: Recently, the Government of Laos officially requested ASEAN partners for some help to develop an IB landscape study and strategy for Lao PDR. Development partners are sourcing some funding for study and strategy formulation. The government of Cambodia (and the business associations) indicated to be ready to interact with counterparts in Laos and sharing experiences from Cambodia.
While IB models, activities and initiatives are also common in Africa (and Latin America) learning from Asia, governments in Africa (such as Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia) are recently getting interested in better identifying IB business lines, and creating strategies for IB support.
Development partners assist companies and governments in promoting IB business lines. Particularly active IB supporters in the region are ADB, AusAID, DFID, ESCAP, IBAN/GIZ, IFC/World Bank, JICA, KOICA, SDC, SIDA, SNV, and USAID, among others