Chen Zhi and Prince Holding Group at Forefront of Cambodia Private Sector’s ESG Initiatives

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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – Media
OutReach
 – 8 December 2020 – COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of environment, social and
governance (“ESG”) practices at companies across the world. But there was talk
of change even before the outbreak of the pandemic. Last year, the Business
Roundtable (a group representing 181 CEOs of America’s largest corporations) outlined
that companies must “support the communities in which they operate”[1],
upturning the longstanding focus on wealth maximization for shareholders
espoused by American economist Milton Friedman.

 

In 2020, times have changed.

 

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This year, Prince Holding Group (“PHG”), one of the largest
conglomerates in Cambodia, has realized this and blazed a trail for companies
in the Kingdom looking to follow ESG principles. Since April,  the Group has made several large-scale
donations to help in the fight against the pandemic and assist flood victims,
and Neak Oknha Chen Zhi (陈志公爵), PHG chairman, has been the driving force behind the donations.
For example, in early December, Chen Zhi and PHG donated US$3,000,000 to Prime
Minister Hun Sen to help Cambodia purchase 1 million COVID-19 vaccines.

 

The notion of “doing good” in business is not new, but in Cambodia,
focus on ESG principles has only recently risen up the corporate agenda.
According to the GRI Sustainability Disclosure Database, the total number of
sustainability reports in Cambodia have doubled since 2015, mostly in the
financial services sector.[2]
More companies are expected to adhere to ESG principles thereby strengthening
the competitiveness of the Cambodian economy, which will not only attract
foreign investment but also improve the business environment.   

 

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As a company with a strong foothold in Cambodia, Chen Zhi and PHG helped
in the fight against the coronavirus earlier in the year by donating US$500,000
and by providing pandemic prevention supplies worth over US$600,000. In
October, Chen Zhi and the Group also provided flood relief support — this
included 100 tons of rice, 300 cartons of instant noodles and 1,000 cartons of
drinking water, comprising a total value of US$75,000 — for flood-hit victims in
Cambodia. Chen Zhi personally donated US$500,000 to help the victims. And, as
mentioned earlier, PHG made a large cash donation in December to help Cambodia
with its COVID-19 response, which will help the government procure and
distribute vaccines to Cambodians for free.

 

Over the years, Prince Real Estate
Charitable Foundation Organization, the Group’s philanthropic arm, has also
launched more than 240 charitable events seeking to improve Cambodian lives
through donations of funds and supplies worth over US$11 million, benefitting
more than 320,000 people.

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“As a company invested in the future of
Cambodia, Prince Holding Group will always help communities in their hour of
need. Furthermore, the Group is constantly contributing to ESG initiatives to benefit
Cambodia and uphold the company’s role as a responsible stakeholder in local
affairs,” states Neak Oknha Chen Zhi, chairman of PHG.

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The focus on sustainability in corporate activity has come at an
important time, as the civil society sector in Cambodia is under
supported. Last year, the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, an umbrella
body for the local NGO sector, warned that its 208 members need to “look
at other funds from the private sector” in the next five years.[3] In
July, the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS), a Hong
Kong-headquartered think tank, noted that corporate funding, on average,
accounted for just 5%[4] of
the budget of Cambodian social development organizations, a third of the
proportion common elsewhere in Asia.

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Going forward, CAPS also predicts that due to the pandemic, there is
expected to be a pullback in funding and support from foreign NGOs,
historically the main supporters of their local counterparts across
developing countries. With the arrest of funding and support from foreign NGOs,
private sector enterprises and governmental units therefore urgently need to
fill the gap to ensure continuity of the good work done at developmental
programmes and be ready to offer funding for emergency programmes in the
country.  

 



[1] Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, Business Roundtable, Oct
2020 (link)

[2]“Sustainability Reporting in Cambodia: The Hidden Champion of ASEAN
Countries” by Boris Miethlich, International Journal of Recent Technology and
Engineering (IJRTE), Oct 2019 (link)

[3] 2019 Annual Report pp.
48 (link)

[4] Doing Good Index 2020,
Cambodia (link)

About Neak Oknha Chen Zhi

Neak Oknha Chen Zhi is the chairman of Prince Holding Group (“PHG”).
As chairman, Neak Oknha Chen Zhi has turned PHG into a leading conglomerate in
Cambodia that adheres to international standards, invests in the future of the
Kingdom and is committed to sustainable business practices.

Neak Oknha Chen Zhi has expanded the business operations of PHG
to encompass various sectors, such as real estate development, banking,
finance, aviation, tourism, logistics, technology, food and beverages, and
lifestyle sectors.


As well as his business activities, Neak Oknha Chen Zhi engages
in helping communities and philanthropy work.


About Prince Holding Group Ltd.

Founded in 2015 in Cambodia, Prince Holding Group (“PHG”) is one of
the largest corporate conglomerates in Cambodia, with businesses spanning
across multiple industries, including real estate development, banking,
finance, aviation, tourism, logistics, technology, food and beverages, and
lifestyle sectors. PHG adheres to its mission of “Building a Better
Life”, and the Group’s philosophy espouses the values of  “Commitment, Responsibility, Respect,
Generosity and Innovation”.

Chen Zhi and Prince Holding Group at Forefront of Cambodia Private Sector’s ESG Initiatives

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Chen Zhi and Prince Holding Group at Forefront of Cambodia Private Sector’s ESG Initiatives - Brand SpurChen Zhi and Prince Holding Group at Forefront of Cambodia Private Sector’s ESG Initiatives - Brand Spur

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Chen Zhi and Prince Holding Group at Forefront of Cambodia Private Sector’s ESG Initiatives - Brand SpurChen Zhi and Prince Holding Group at Forefront of Cambodia Private Sector’s ESG Initiatives - Brand Spur

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