Cambodia's e-commerce market value sees fast growth during COVID-19 pandemic

(Xinhua) 14:29, July 04, 2022

PHNOM PENH, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's market value of e-commerce had increased to 970 million U.S. dollars in last year, up 19 percent from 813 million dollars in 2020, according to the Ministry of Commerce's iTrade Bulletin released recently.

The e-commerce revenue was mainly from fashion, accounting for 263.3 million U.S. dollars, followed by electronics (254.4 million dollars); beauty, health, personal and household care (230.5 million dollars); toys, hobby and do-it-yourself (63 million dollars); food and beverages (101.5 million dollars); furniture (46.3 million dollars) and media (11 million dollars).

Some 55 percent of e-commerce purchase orders were placed via the Internet on a desktop PC and the rest on tablets or smartphones, the Bulletin said.

"By 2025, the e-commerce revenue in Cambodia is projected to reach 1.78 billion U.S. dollars," it said.

Cambodian Ministry of Commerce's undersecretary of state and spokesman Penn Sovicheat said on Monday that the e-commerce sector has boomed in the country in recent years thanks to the rapid development of technologies, the fast growth of Internet users, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We see e-commerce as a potential sector to help boost our economic recovery in the post-pandemic era," he told Xinhua. "During the pandemic, e-commerce had grown rapidly and there's no doubt that the growth will continue in coming years."

Sovicheat said to support the sustainable development of e-commerce, Cambodia has adopted the landmark E-commerce Law and the Consumer Protection Law in 2019, and the Law on Competition in 2021, as well as launched an e-commerce strategy in 2020.

The Southeast Asian country currently has about 17.7 million internet subscribers, with most of them having access to online platforms via smartphones, according to the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia.

Hong Vannak, an economic researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said e-commerce is convenient, fast and safe for consumers thanks to the rise in Internet usage and mobile payments.

"E-commerce in Cambodia has begun to grow exponentially from 2018 and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021," he told Xinhua on Monday. "Young generations have better knowledge of technologies and they're keen to use more modern methods to purchase goods online and to pay online."

A National Bank of Cambodia's report showed that there was a total of 13.6 million mobile payment users in the country in 2021, up 42 percent from 9.56 million in 2020.

Vannak predicts that the e-commerce sector will grow bigger in the coming years when rural people have better access to the Internet and technologies, and transport infrastructure and logistics have been better expanded.

Paul Kim, managing director of Mayura, an online marketplace platform for beauty and health products, said the pandemic proved to be a blessing in disguise for the development of e-commerce in Cambodia.

"Due to the pandemic, consumers were confined to the safety of their homes in 2020 and 2021, the e-commerce industry began gaining tremendous traction, which, in turn, had a ripple effect on the fintech industry," he told Xinhua.

"As professionals in science and medicine tell us that we will be living with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future, these changes in consumer behavior are with us to stay. Within this year or the next couple of years, we are expecting an even greater growth for the e-commerce industry in Cambodia," Paul said. 

(Web editor: Sheng Chuyi, Liang Jun)


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