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Quarantine being reviewed for investors and experts

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Foreign experts are needed for one of Cambodia’s pillar industries: construction. KT/Pann Rachana

The government will adjust quarantine measures and prepare special arrangements for potential investors, technical experts and consultants who come to the Kingdom, said senior officers of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA).

SSCA’s spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha said yesterday the government on Monday reviewed health and safety measures for potential investors. He said the government could reduce the cash deposit for the COVID-19 cover charge at the airport from $3,000 to $2,000 for investors entering Cambodia. Currently, they are required to pay a $3,000 deposit by cash or credit card.

The move applies only to potential investors whose names are catalogued in the investment list of the Council for the Development of Cambodia and other government memorandums. The government will provide this special arrangement for them, but other conditions regarding health and safety measures will still apply, Chansereyvutha said.

“The government does not want to keep them in quarantine for 14 days once they arrive in Cambodia. Once they (investors) arrive at the airport, we will test them to figure out whether they have COVID-19 and then allow them to go, but the government will have IT [information technology] system or mobile phone application to track them. The investors come to Cambodia for only two or three days, so we want to facilitate them,” he added.

He said that this is to encourage potential investors and for  important technical expertise to come to the Kingdom by negating the quarantine days and the $3,000 deposit cash. However, no tourist visas will be issued at the request of the Ministry of Health but other types will under strict conditions..

Under the Kingdom’s health measures, all foreigners who travel to Cambodia will have to have proof of medical insurance to the value of $50,000 and a health certificate from a certified medical professional that states they are free of the COVID-19 infection. This is  valid for up to 72 hours. They will also need the deposit of $3,000 upon arrival in Cambodia.

“Our country is not banning travelling and is not under lockdown, but the measures appear like we are locking down the country, so we are trying to make things easier for investors and experts to come to Cambodia,” Chansereyvutha said.

Or Vandine, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health, said that every country in the world, including Cambodia, has been affected the COVID-19. They will adjust the measures which they applied and implemented previously. It is normal when people are widespread and affected. There will be strict measures to try to prevent further contamination. it is a necessity, said Vandine.

“When the measures have been implemented, and prevention is better, the government will adjust or review them. Here, in Cambodia, we cannot lock down without thinking about the economy. If we force strong measures for a long time, it will affect the economy on a big scale, so the government will adjust some measures. We are now discussing special arrangements for investors and technical expertise and consultants. After the technical working group approves them, they will be passed to the inter-ministry and then the Inter-Ministerial Commission for Combating COVID-19. The new development may be applied in July.

Ky Sereyvath, director of the China Study Centre of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), said it is a sign that the government wants to promote more investors to come to Cambodia. He added there are in fact two signs. First, it is show that the government needs foreign money. Second, it is a sign that the government is trying to support the economy. “It is to support the economy and push its growth. The problem is there may be fewer investors coming because there is no market or many outsiders to make purchases. However, it shows the government is making an effort, Sereyvath said.

The impact of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on global air transport is without precedent. Airports saw a -28.4 percent decline in global passenger traffic volumes for the first quarter of 2020.

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