Survey Says Firms Confident Despite Deadlock

Local and foreign firms have a high level of confidence in the current economic climate in Cambodia despite the political deadlock in the country since last year’s disputed election, and are optimistic about business over the next year, according to a study to be released Thursday by ANZ Royal.

The ANZ Royal Business Confidence Index, which was completed in cooperation with the London-based market research company TNS, gives business confidence in Cambodia an overall score of 83 out of 100, indicating a high level of confidence, a briefing document for the index says.

A total of 40 CEOs and financial officers from the country’s service, agricultural and industry sectors were asked how confident they feel about the prospects of their business over the next 12 months in terms of revenue, profitability, headcount and capital expenditure.

Overall, the index scored confidence in the service sector at 85, the agricultural sector at 82 and the industry sector at 81, the briefing says.

It also showed more confidence among small and medium enterprises, which scored 88 compared to the 80 scored by larger businesses.

“There are concerns about the political deadlock scaring off investors and affecting consumer confidence, however, this has not unduly affected businesses from being optimistic,” the briefing says.

“The lingering effects on businesses appear to have been minor and for most companies, it has been business as usual,” the briefing document says.

The briefing says, however, that challenges still remain for businesses, including corruption, the future of the deadlock and poor infrastructure.

“The main concerns about the future are related to the government and institutional framework in some way,” it says. “Both international and local companies surveyed complain about corruption and bureaucracy.”

“Other issues harming business are the high electricity prices and poor infrastructure, which are not new issues.”

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