Cambodia Investment Review

Boosting Tourism SME Growth Through Enhanced Credit Reporting Knowledge in Siem Reap

Boosting Tourism SME Growth Through Enhanced Credit Reporting Knowledge in Siem Reap

Cambodia Investment Review

In a landmark initiative to bolster the tourism sector’s recovery and growth, the Credit Bureau Cambodia (CBC) and the Cambodia Tourism Association (CATA) conducted a comprehensive workshop in Siem Reap. This event was designed to enhance the understanding of credit reporting, financial health tools, and credit assessment knowledge among tourism SMEs. The workshop aimed to facilitate these businesses’ access to credit, empowering them to finance their growth effectively.

Mr. Ngov Sengkak, Deputy Governor of Siem Reap Province.

The timing of the workshop coincides with the government’s announcement of a $50 million loan package specifically aimed at supporting tourism SMEs in Siem Reap. This financial boost is seen as a critical step towards accelerating growth and recovery in the post-pandemic era for the tourism sector. Approximately 100 tourism SMEs from Siem Reap participated in the workshop, demonstrating a strong interest in leveraging credit for sustainable business growth.

Importance Of Preparing For & Obtaining Credit

Mr. Ngov Sengkak, Deputy Governor of Siem Reap Province, in his address to the participants, emphasized the importance of preparing for and obtaining credit. He noted that responsible and sustainable investments are key to leveraging tourism as a driver of economic growth. Mr. Sengkak also highlighted the value of close collaboration with CBC and banks to support the sector’s advancement.

Read More: Leader Talks – Chhay Sivlin On The Opportunities And Challenges For Cambodia’s Tourism Sector Post COVID

Credit reporting is pivotal for financial inclusion and access to credit. It enables lenders to make informed loan decisions by providing critical information on applicants’ credit profiles. Mr. Oeur Sothearoath, CEO of Credit Bureau Cambodia, shared insightful data, revealing that as of February 2024, the tourism sector nationwide held loans amounting to $2.68 billion, with 12.68% of these loans attributed to borrowers in Siem Reap province.

Mr. Oeur Sothearoath, CEO of Credit Bureau Cambodia.

He further elaborated on the significant growth of small business loan balances in Siem Reap, which has seen a 52% increase over the last five years, now constituting 73.35% of the overall loan balance in the province. Mr. Sothearoath reaffirmed CBC’s commitment to enhancing the understanding of credit reporting to improve SMEs’ access to credit in the tourism sector.

Stronger Collaboration Across The Financial Sector

Lok Chumteav Chhay Sivlin, President of Cambodia Tourism Association, stressed the workshop’s role in providing a vital platform for member SMEs to deepen their understanding of credit reporting and its impact on loan access. She emphasized tourism’s crucial role in revitalizing Siem Reap and the national economy, advocating for stronger collaboration across the financial sector, business community, associations, and government to achieve inclusive growth in line with government policies.

Lok Chumteav Chhay Sivlin, President of Cambodia Tourism Association.

The workshop also offered participants the opportunity to utilize the CBC mobile app, allowing them to check their credit reports for free, an essential step since lenders review credit reports before loan approval. This initiative underscores the importance of regular credit report checks to ensure accuracy and readiness for loan applications.

Discussions during the event shed light on the challenges faced by local entrepreneurs and business leaders in the tourism sector, particularly in the context of loan applications. Insights from senior executives from the SME Bank of Cambodia and Sathapana Bank were shared, offering valuable tips and suggestions to aid SMEs on their financing journey.

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