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National Census Identifies Half-Million Business

Cambodia has a total of 505,134 businesses supported by a workforce of 1,676,263 just 11.56 percent of the total population, according to a nationwide economic census released yesterday by the Ministry of Planning.

Of the total number of people employed in the country, 1,026,084 or 61.2 percent, are women, mostly working in low-end jobs in the food service, retail and garment sectors, the 2011 Economic Census found.

According to the census 97.7 percent of all businesses in Cambodia are classified as micro-businesses with less than 10 employees, while 79 percent of all businesses have fewer than three workers. Large businesses, on the other hand, classified as having more than 100 employees, account for just 0.2 percent of the total, or 787 establishments.

When it comes to sales, however, those large businesses account for nearly half of Cambodia’s $120 billion sales annually, at $58.5 billion a year, while those businesses with fewer than three employees accounted for just $3.9 billion in sale output.

Conducted in March 2011, the $3.26 million, door-to-door economic census was funded mostly by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and was tasked with identifying the number of businesses in Cambodia and gathering economic data about those businesses.

“The 2011 Economic Census [of Cambodia] was carried out covering all villages or enumeration census areas and markets located in all districts, khans, communes, sangkats in the territory of Kingdom of Cambodia,” Minister of Planning Chhay Than said yesterday morning at the launch of the census.

The census also shows that wholesale, retail and motor vehicle repair establishments represent 57.2 percent of all businesses in the country, at 289,130 while businesses in manufacturing, accommodation and food services comprise 14.9 and 13.8 percent of the total figure, respectively.

According to the findings, manufacturing, accommodation and food services accounted for 86.7 percent of the 181,035 new businesses established in the country since the beginning of 2009. In the same period, businesses focused on information and communications-mobile phones and Internet-grew by 52.4 percent to 4,708.

The census found that more women are employed by businesses than men, and it also found that more businesses are owned by women, with women controlling 65 percent, or 326,006, of the total. More than 64 percent of all businesses are also still run from residential homes.

Phnom Penh Contains the largest number of businesses, with 95,848 or 19 percent of the total figure, located within the city’s limits, while the next largest numbers of businesses are found in Kompong Cham, Kandal, and Battambang provinces with 11.1 percent, 8 percent and 6.8 percent of the total number.

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