Ride-hailing giant Grab has officially launched operations in Cambodia, its eighth country in Southeast Asia. The Singapore-based company will have to compete with American-owned rival Uber and several very active local ride-hailing providers.
During the official launching in Phnom Penh on December 26, representatives from Grab announced the signing of two new memorandums of understanding (MoU) with both the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) and the United Nations Development Programme in Cambodia, which respectively outline plans for using data from the company to reduce traffic congestion and limit carbon emissions in the Kingdom.
Hooi Ling Tan, who co-founded Grab five years ago, said that three of her company’s long-term goals in Cambodia include encouraging financial inclusion, lessening traffic congestion and improving road safety.
“We want to push for online banking, so we enable every single driver to have a bank account,” she declared in fropnt of local media and a selected audience. “We also have an open traffic platform which allows us to share data on congestion, informing people when and how to travel.”
Wee Tang Yee, Grab country head for Cambodia and Thailand, added that in a country where the leading cause of death is traffic accidents caused by drivers inconsistence, the company expects to invest in development projects to see roads become safer in Cambodia.
“We have heavily invested in the safety of our platform,” he said. “The Grab accident rate is five times lower than the average in each country where we operate, and every ride is covered by personal insurance.”
Grab will only be vaialable for the time being in Phnom Penh, providing ride-hailing service GrabCar and its online payment platform GrabPay. However, the company is hopeful to rapidly include other destinations such a Battambang, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. “We have been very compliant with local tax laws and anti-corruption laws,” added Yee. “We look forward to expanding our services across the country soon.”
Sun Chanthol, minister of public works and transport, expressed the belief that the use of Grab’s technology would prove beneficial to the Kingdom in the long run. “We recognise the importance of embracing ride sharing technology in improving the transportation sector,” he said. “It is important to work with the private sector to improve on road safety.”
Some 500 drivers registered with Grab in Phnom Penh, including motorbikes and cars.
(Source: Phnom Penh Post)