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PM reveals new investment laws

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Traders examine samples yesterday at the Import Export Exhibition on Koh Pich, where Prime Minister Hun Sen delivered a speech. KT/Khem Sovannara

Prime Minister Hun Sen has revealed two laws are in the pipeline to promote Special Economic Zones and establish a transparent system for investments in the Kingdom.

“The government has been formulating a new investment law and Special Economic Zone law to establish an open, transparent, estimated, favourable and effective regulatory framework,” Mr Hun Sen said during the opening of the 14th Cambodia Import Export One Province One Product Exhibition on Koh Pich yesterday.

“They are for investments, modernisation and enhancing domestic industrial products as well as strengthen connectivity in regional and global chains through intensifying the growth of capital flow and transfers of technology and knowledge,” he added. “The mentioned legal framework will provide investment incentives with transparency, equal competitiveness, rights and benefits protection without discrimination, based on the Cambodian Investment Law, which creates comprehensive and balanced regulatory framework following investment conditions and national benefits.”

Mr Hun Sen said the government has introduced an open policy for investors to come to Cambodia.

“Foreign direct investment flowing into Cambodia has provided financial resources, technologies, skills, knowledge, business experience, and new employment opportunities for people,” he said. “Through peace and sustainable economic growth, Cambodia has been actively integrating into the region and the world, while strengthening its competitiveness in all sectors, particularly trade that has made a significant contribution in providing employments to Cambodian citizens.”

According to a recent report from the Council for the Development of Cambodia, 18 Special Economic Zones are active in the country, mostly near the border with Vietnam and Thailand.

Last year, exports from all SEZs in the Kingdom were valued at $1.4 billion, an 18 percent increase compared to a year earlier, according to the Commerce Ministry.

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Prime Minister Hun Sen delivers a speech yesterday. KT/Khem Sovannara

Mr Hun Sen yesterday said the government is aiming to transform Cambodia into a high-middle income country by 2030.

“Promoting small and medium enterprises has been the priority objective of the government that has paid utmost attention through the Sub-Decree on Tax Incentive for Small and Medium Enterprises providing an exemption of profit tax for five years,” he said. “I strongly hope…investors will clearly understand about investment potential in Cambodia, and seize the opportunity to utilise the full capacity of your priority concessions.”

Chea Vuthy, deputy secretary-general of the CDC, previously told Khmer Times the number of investment projects and value of investments continues to increase every year.

“The government of Cambodia welcomes all investors, including local ones. First come first serve, big and small. We welcome all investors,” he said. “We thank all the foreign and local investors for contributing investment in Cambodia, to help Cambodia’s economic growth reach seven percent and generating about 150,000 jobs annually.”

A woman examines jewellery at the exhibition in the capital yesterday. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The CDC announced in October that it approved 831 investment projects, with a total investment capital of $22.5 billion, from 2016 to August 2019.

CDC said in the first eight months of this year, 222 investment projects were approved, worth a combined $6 billion. This is 81 more projects than during the same period last year, when capital investment reached just $1.88 billion.

Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak yesterday said the government has paid attention to investors, calling them “economic growth machines”.

Mr Sorasak said the government will provide a better investment atmosphere to local and foreign investors.

“We consider the private sector as the national economic growth machines,” he said. “The Ministry of Commerce will set out internal reform policies and new strategic development plans to support and secure sustainable growth of the private sector in the Kingdom.”

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