Smart Axiata’s Cambodia Tech Summit last weekend concluded a busy few days for the telecommunications company after showcasing their 2017 Sustainability Report, and hosting international speakers, promising local startups, and opportunities for Cambodia’s blossoming technology ecosystem, drawing thousands of tech enthusiasts.
Friday, 19th October, saw the unveiling of company’s sustainability report for 2017, with lots of infographics displaying the key highlights of business successes, tax contributions, and their many CSR ventures. The event was packed with CSR partners, guests of honour such as H.E. Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, various ministry representatives, and development partners, with Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt answering tough media questions regarding Smart’s economic results and his optimism for Smart’s future growth.
Notable data standouts include the fact that Smart paid $76 million in taxes for 2017 — 3 percent of total state tax income — and a 17 percent increase over 2016, indicating the company’s growing importance in Cambodia’s tech and digital space.
“Smart Axiata has been a driving force behind the tech sector development here in Cambodia. The energy and passion seen during the events during this weekend, the BarCamp, the Tech Summit, the Seedstars competition… was just amazing and highly encouraging. It endorsed that the road we are travelling on is very much right. We at Smart set forth that journey by putting all our weight behind further grooming, developing and boosting the local startup and tech ecosystem,” said Mr Hundt during the inaugural Tech Summit.
The weekend was busy one for Cambodia’s tech community. Other initiatives taking place included Seedstars World, the largest startup competition for emerging markets; Startup&Angels; BarCamp ASEAN 2018; Facebook Developer Circle; Startup Kingdom; and Smart TechTalk, an annual forum featuring international keynotes and panel sessions.
Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata presenting the Sustainability Report on Friday.
International keynote speakers from companies like Google, Facebook, and Huawei captivated the crowd at the Tech Summit on Sunday morning, while in the afternoon, a panel session featuring the US Ambassador to Cambodia and representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Google, Seedstars, and Smart, discussed topics centered around ‘Harnessing the Power of Digital Innovation for Cambodia’.
Joonaak Delivery, a last-mile delivery service platform, won the Seedstars’ Cambodia Best Startup award. As champion, the company is invited to participate at the Seedstars Asia Summit 2018 in Bangkok and at the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland, where they will have the chance to win up to $1 million USD in equity investments.
“We have seen many startup and technology events in Cambodia over the last few years but this Tech Summit is a new milestone for all of us as we develop further towards realising a digital Cambodia. I am very confident that even though Cambodia’s tech sector is not as developed as other markets, the talent, passion and capability is there for all to see,” said Dr. Seng Sopheap, President of the National Institute of Technology and ICT.
With Impact Hub’s Urban Mobility Incubator coming up in the next few weeks it is an exciting time for Cambodia’s tech and digital ecosystem, and Geeks is looking forward to what new developments and projects will come!
(Edited by Peter Ford)