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Cambodia pushes for e-commerce initiative

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Like Indonesia, Cambodia is actively encouraging e-commerce in least developed countries. Reuters

As a coordinator of a group of least developed countries (LDCs), Cambodia has plans to encourage countries within the group to implement elements of their own “e-commerce” initiative to further their advancement.
Commerce Minister Pan Sarosak said last week that Cambodia will help LCDs adopt e-commerce – which they say is a general plan to move all business transactions and dealings to digital platforms – because the World Trade Organization (WTO) actively and strongly recommends it.
“As we are a coordinator of LDCs, we will urge those LDCs to use e-commerce because e-commerce is important for the current trade situation,” Mr. Sorasak said. “In the WTO, e-commerce is widely encouraged to be implemented in each country.”
Cambodia was unanimously selected in November as an LDC coordinator. The LDC group consists of 36 member states and the kingdom has a one-year mandate from February 2017 to February 2018.
The e-commerce draft law in Cambodia has not been finalized or even approved yet, but government officials plan to have it in place this year and will prioritize it with other LDCs, according to Mr. Sorasak.
“Although e-commerce has not yet been approved, we hope that it will reach approval by this year, so we hope that based on Cambodia’s experiences in e-commerce, the LDCs will be able to benefit from trade when we make negotiations with other countries in the WTO,” he said, adding that many LDCs had not begun the process of moving toward e-commerce.
“Besides e-commerce, we will encourage LDCs to implement it in the tourism sector and agriculture sector because these are sectors where Cambodia has succeeded.
“We are doing well in the agriculture sector, so we will encourage those countries to follow our model, particularly in the tourism sector,” Mr. Sorasak told Khmer Times.
“In trade, we are also doing very well, so we try to help those countries benefit as much as they can in terms of trade with Cambodia as chairman and coordinator.”
Cambodia, he said, plans to work with all of the LDCs during negotiations to ensure that attractive trade benefits can be attained. They will form a new agenda for trade policies in a number of common areas including tariff preferential treatment, trade facilitation, agricultural development, aid for trade, intellectual property rights, investment and poverty reduction.

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