Smart Axiata has published its 2019 sustainability report, highlighting its commitment to the Kingdom’s future sustainable development
Phnom Penh, November 13, 2020 – Building on more than 10 years of sustainability leadership in Cambodia, Smart Axiata today released its 2019 sustainability report “Enriching Lives, Sustaining Communities”, showcasing the company’s contribution to the local economy, its sustainable practices and its impactful corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that have touched numerous communities across Cambodia.
In 2019, Smart contributed 459 million USD to Cambodia’s national economy (1.7% of the country’s GDP) while supporting nearly 50,000 jobs directly and indirectly across its value chain. The company paid 94 million USD in taxes, levies and regulatory fees, with its tax payments alone representing 2.1% of the total national tax income.
Through its contributions to the Universal Service Obligation Fund and Capacity Building and R&D Fund, the company also commits 3% of its mobile service revenue every year to government-led projects that drive mobile broadband infrastructure and human capital development in the ICT sector, resulting in Smart being recognized as the “Best Contributor to the CBRD Fund” in 2019 by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.
The CEO of Smart Axiata, Thomas Hundt, said: “Honoring our commitment to the nation’s development through fulfilling our tax and regulatory fee payment obligations is at the core of our business operations while following through on our sustainability framework brings great benefits to communities where our support for digital literacy, digital education, sport and environmental protection helps to build resilience and opportunities, especially for the younger generation who are the custodians of the Kingdom’s future.”
“We strive to go beyond our normal sustainability practices to help grow the digital technology ecosystem in the Kingdom – for example with our preparations to launch 5G,” Thomas added. In July 2019, Smart Axiata successfully carried out the first 5G live showcase in Cambodia, highlighting the company’s leadership in the industry, having already been the first mobile telecommunications company in Cambodia to launch 4G in 2014, followed by 4G+ in 2016 and 4G+ with HD Voice (VoLTE) and 4.5G in 2017.
Beyond being probably the biggest contributor to national state income, Smart allocates more than 1% of its annual revenues, equivalent to more than 3 million USD, to its CSR programs in the areas of education, the environment, community sports and tech innovation to continue its nation-building agenda.
Through the Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund, Smart has invested more than 2 million USD in 8 Cambodia-based digital startups, which have created over 1,400 jobs and generated 2.7 million USD in combined revenue. These businesses feature technologies such as the Internet of Things and chatbots to deliver digital solutions to Cambodians across various sectors.
In 2019, Smart also partnered with Google and the GSMA, the global trade association for mobile network operators, to pilot a digital literacy and Internet safety program among 1,500 high school students in three provinces. The pilot program, endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, reached over 2.8 million online viewers through an online video campaign. The program was also recognized with an Asia Responsible Enterprise Award under the Social Empowerment category in September 2020.
Smart continued to run successful digital-focused education and development programs throughout 2019 such as the SmartStart Young Innovator Program and the SmartEdu Scholarship Program while supporting hackathons across the country to ensure Cambodia’s youth have access to the best digital mentoring and training programs in the Kingdom.
Beyond its commitment to grow Cambodia’s digital economy, Smart Axiata also contributed over 200,000 USD to organize the Smile Charity Concert to support Kantha Bopha Hospital in their mission to provide free access to medical and health care for all Cambodian children.
In December 2019, senior executives from Malaysia’s Axiata Group Berhad and CEO of Smart Axiata Thomas Hundt met with Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, the prime minister of Cambodia, with the company vowing to continue its role as a key development partner of the Royal Government of Cambodia and Cambodia’s digital champion.
“Even though 2020 has turned out to be unprecedentedly challenging in all aspects, Smart Axiata will continue to create great positive impacts in all what we do while navigating through these tough and uncertain times so that the socio-economy can recover and we can rise together as a nation,” concluded Thomas.
Visit www.smart.com.kh/sustainability-report-2019/ to download the report. For more information on Smart’s sustainability and CSR initiatives, follow the Smart for Cambodia Facebook page at www.facebook.com/smartforcambodia or visit www.smart.com.kh.