UNDP partners with Alibaba-backed logistics provider to boost Cambodia’s e-commerce sector

Shenzhen’s 4PX Express will provide training for vendors in the country.

Cambodia startups see little top-down support to develop the infrastructure needed for their operations and growth, but other parties are stepping in to lend a hand. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) inked an agreement with Shenzhen-based logistics, software, and consulting firm 4PX Express to share costs in a plan to nurture the country’s e-commerce sector, according to local publication Khmer Times.

The partnership will tackle two of the biggest barriers Cambodian e-commerce players face—a lack of access to global supply chains and inefficient cross-border logistics.

Under the partnership, 4PX, which is partly owned by Alibaba Group, will provide US$1.3 million to help build the capacity of SMEs within the Cambodian e-commerce sector, including the provision of training to use Alibaba.com. The collaboration will also open doors for Cambodian sellers to ship their products and provide services abroad through Alibaba. At the same time, Chinese vendors will be able to reach Cambodian clients using the same channels.

According to a 2018 Google-Temasek report on Southeast Asia’s internet economy, the region’s e-commerce market size stands at US$23 billion and is projected to grow to US$102 billion by 2025.

The rapid development of e-commerce in the region—particularly in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore—is promising, and Cambodia is still building the framework required for digital commerce to thrive within its borders.

Through their partnership, UNDP and 4PX Express aim to reduce supply chain costs and expand product ranges that exist in Cambodia. At the same time, vendors who use e-commerce platforms in the country will become more competitive with their training.

E-commerce has boomed in Cambodia over the last five years, yet there is a lack of regulation of the sector in the country. Some of the bigger players in the sector are MAIO Mall (My All In One Mall), Mall 855, and Little Fashion. Notably, Little Fashion’s parent company just set a new record in Cambodian startup history by raising US$5 million in its Series A round.

Editor: Brady Ng