Cambodians
Garment workers gather at the Tonle Sap bank during a celebration for Labour Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia May 1, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Samrang Pring)

Cambodia's digital economy has been growing rapidly over the past few years and among the reasons why is due to the country's suitable and open business environment that many investors are fond of.

According to the Khmer Times, the Cambodian government's decision to allow for open business in the country has helped largely in developing the digital economy despite some roadblocks.

Serial Entrepreneur who has experience with the dealings in Silicon Valley, Andries De Vos, said there has been "an awakening" in innovation and digital ambitions in Cambodia. In fact, the past year showed a massive drive in developing digital ecosystems.

Tech businesses and startups are now more knowledgeable of international models they can use to curb the potential impacts of risks that come with digitization. They are also gaining more knowledge on how they can further attract international investments.

American firms are some of the biggest investors in Cambodia's booming economy. The Cambodian government's policy of 100 percent ownership by foreign investors helped boost the exchange of knowledge between local and U.S. firms in various tech segments.

More affordable internet services are also helping propel growth among companies focused on digital services. Several internet providers such as Smart Axiata and Cellcard are expected to offer cheaper 5G and 4.5G connections for Cambodian firms.

CEO of digital media services company MangoTango Asia, Chris McCarthy, described the blooming environment as one like "the start of something big." His comments reflect the growth that Cambodia's tech segments have been experiencing.

Among the issues that Cambodia has yet to resolve in relation to its digital economy drive are traffic jams and poor road conditions in some regions. These problems are believed to be hampering supposed growth in some startups.

Late in March, the Cambodian government announced that it will donate $5 million in support of tech startups. The latest development is believed to be part of Prime Minister Hun Sen's efforts in showing his dedication towards a more innovative economy.

The funding is expected to help provide assistance that's not just focused on financing. Instead, the plan is to integrate training programs for tech startups that involve the development of marketing and production skills.

Hun Sen said during the 2019 Cambodia Outlook Conference that instead of transitioning into a country with a Silicon Valley of its own, the government wants to see Cambodia highlighting strong tech connections with global markets.

It appears that Cambodia is looking at a more "open-minded" digital setup wherein investors can gain in many ways while Cambodian startups use the assistance to slowly make their way into the global stage.