Cambodia Investment Review
Smart Axiata, Cambodia’s leading mobile network operator, released its Sustainability Report 2021 on December 9, 2022, highlighting the company’s commitment and contributions to Cambodia’s sustainable development.
The report, now in its eighth edition, documents initiatives in 2021 and was launched on Friday at an event attended by Minister of Post and Telecommunications H.E. Dr. Chea Vandeth, Group Chief Corporate Officer of Axiata Group Berhad Asri Hassan Sabri and Acting CEO of Smart Axiata Feiruz Ikhwan.
The company’s approach to sustainability is aligned with that of the regional Axiata Group and based on four pillars: thinking beyond short-term profits, developing world-class talent, striving for process excellence and caring for the environment and society.
$81 million in Cambodia’s development and $103 million to public finance
In 2021, Smart Axiata invested 81 million USD in Cambodia’s development and contributed 103 million USD to public finance. The company remains the Kingdom’s employer of choice, supporting a total of 51,700 jobs across the country, with 97.6% of the workforce being Cambodian.
Smart has also launched the Kingdom’s first venture capital fund, the Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund, through which 3 million USD has been invested in 10 startups to help build a thriving ecosystem.
At the height of the pandemic, the company broadcast the government’s COVID-19 awareness campaign to their 7 million subscribers while simultaneously setting up a 1 million USD COVID-19 relief fund to support communities in Red Zones, which assisted 300 vulnerable families in Banteay Meanchey, among many others, arranged for multiple vaccination centers across Phnom Penh to provide food relief and ensured uninterrupted communication with extensive network coverage.
Sustainability is at the heart of Smart Axiata operations
Acting CEO of Smart Axiata Feiruz Ikhwan said: “Sustainability is at the heart of our operations. In what was another challenging year as the world continued to grapple with the effects of the pandemic, Smart Axiata remained steadfast in connecting people, being an enabler and supporting the Kingdom’s efforts to bolster, protect and develop the economy and its citizens in a sustainable way. Smart will continue to work with the Royal Government of Cambodia and our stakeholders to deliver sustainable development.”
The report also highlighted that, by the end of 2021, the company had contributed 416 million USD, or 1.6%, to national GDP, and invested 244 million USD in its operations. Additionally, the company annually contributes 2% of its revenue to the Universal Service Obligatory Fund (USOF) and 1% to the Capacity Building, Research and Development (CBRD) Fund of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications to enhance capacity-building and support digital literacy programs for young Cambodians.
Sustainable development is a shared responsibility and a multi-stakeholder approach
Minister of Post and Telecommunications H.E. Dr. Chea Vandeth said, “Indeed, sustainable development is a shared responsibility and a multi-stakeholder approach with participation with development partners and private sector, like Smart, to join hands in shaping our sustainable practices.”
He also added, “I commend Smart on [their] four sustainability pillars where they look beyond the short-term profits, and care for the well-being of people and society by connecting communities, investing in infrastructure, and promoting digital inclusion in sustainable manner that reduces carbon footprint and minimizes impact on environment.”
The sustainability report, the first edition of which was published in 2014, reflects the company’s values and mission to become the number one and most loved communication tech brand by 2022. The company aims to achieve its mission by strengthening not only its business value but also its commitment to progress in areas such as education and sports.