Cambodia IAF Alumni talked about SME in Germany and Cambodia

Phnom Penh: On 10 June, 2012; Mr. Rainer Heufers, Freelance Consultant, gave a presentation to the Cambodian International Academy for Leadership (IAF) Alumni, young politicians, members of the civil society organizations, students from the universities and interested guests in an evening seminar. 31 participants, including 13 women attended this knowledge sharing session on SME (Small and Medium size Enterprise). Mr. Heufers was former FNF Project Director for Malaysia, Indonesia, and was responsible also for projects in China, Philippines, and Vietnam for more than ten years. He has firsthand knowledge from Germany and profound experiences from this region.

Germany at a Glance

He started with the short history of Germany, country and people, SME development, role of the state and the companies in supporting SME in Germany. He pointed out the importance of SME in the country’s economy by employing huge workforces, training skilled labors and act as “crisis insurance”. SME employs between one to 500 people and should have a turnover up to Euro 50 million. In 2009, the picture looks like this: 3,585,000 SME (12,500 large companies), 99.7% of all German companies, employ 60% of all German employees, train more than 80% of all apprentices, but produce only about 1/3 of the German GDP.

At the end of the presentation he pointed five components of a successful SME policy, which was the foundation for the Q & A and continued discussion: Minimal bureaucracy and legal protection, Market free entry, Access to capital, Human Resources and Research and Development.

According to the World Bank, Cambodia is one of the most difficult countries of starting to do a business. Main constraints are procedures, long time for application to get approval and corruption. Besides, the lack of skilled labors, the high costs for transport and electricity, are among the main barriers to attract high quality investors into the country. Singapore proves to be the best place for setting up new businesses; therefore, it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

Cambodia Germany
9 procedures 9 procedures
85 days 15 days
109.7 % of income p.c. 4.6 % of income p.c.
31.3 % paid in capital 0.0 % paid in capital
Ranks 171 (out of 183) Ranks 98 (out of 183)

It is important to note that it was the 4. AIF Alumni Meeting, in 2012. The first Alumni meeting dated back to 2003. Since 1997 the foundation manages to send 67 (mostly) young people, of whom 12 are women, to attend the IAF Seminars in Gummersbach, Germany. They are government’s officials, politicians, young party members, NGO’s officials, business communities, etc. IAF Alumni, as informal “Liberal Ambassadors”, keep in touch via this platform for learning, sharing, exchanging new knowledge for own benefits and therefore the benefits of the society, as a whole.

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