Cambodia Investment Review

CDC launches e-database to link foreign buyers with sustainable suppliers

CDC launches e-database to link foreign buyers with sustainable suppliers

Harrison White

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) with support from the World Economic Forum launched the online portal Supplier Database with Sustainability Dimensions (SD2).

The database was developed to improve the linkage between foreign firms and domestic suppliers, especially those domestic suppliers that can provide quality goods and services.

Domestic suppliers can register their companies on the database, for free, to promote their businesses with potential investors who regularly visit the CDC website. Besides general information on the company (such as its products and services), the database illustrates the sustainability characteristics of selected suppliers.

After local suppliers submit their registration, CDC will review the data entry and confirm it. Only after CDC’s confirmation will the organization be public and visible on the website. CDC reserves the right to reject unqualified applications.

There are six sustainability dimensions that registered companies can highlight (and verify) in the database: Quality standards and certifications, Responsible supply chains, Gender & Inclusion, Environmental sustainability, Skills upgrading, and Employee care

Companies that wish to register on SD2 are not required to meet all six dimensions, but at least one, and provide any supporting documentation to show which sustainability characteristic they meet. Cambodia Investment Review was ensured by the CDC that suppliers will have been properly verified before they are placed on the database.

The database was first earmarked for development in 2019 after a joint workshop between the World Economic Forum, the Cambodia Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture, and 50 stakeholders to better encapsulate how to increase investment flows into the Kingdom, in terms of quantity and quality.

“We hope that investors and foreign firms will see that Cambodia is creating a welcoming investment climate while being committed to responsible and sustainable business. As a relatively small country, Cambodia can set itself apart by being a pioneer in facilitating sustainable investment,” Secretary-General of the CDC Sok Chenda Sophea said.

World Economic Forum’s Matthew Stephenson – who was involved in the project – has listed the sustainability database as one of five ways the countries can make investment easier and boost sustainable development.

“Foreign firms are much more likely to invest in an economy if they know there are qualified domestic firms that can supply them with the inputs needed to successfully operate, from legal services to catering services, sheet metal to trucks. Supplier databases can provide this information quickly and accurately,” Stephenson wrote.

“In addition, supplier databases create linkages between foreign and domestic firms, and evidence shows that those linkages are key to maximizing development benefits for the host economy,” he added.

The four additional recommendations of the WTO to help increase investment flows and their impact were adopting a ‘silent yes’ mechanism, adopt a risk-based approach to administrative approval, create ‘investment alert’ mechanisms and provide greater support to investors that contribute to sustainable development.

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