Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have called for stricter importation requirements for all finished products, citing the uncontrolled importation is negatively affecting Cambodia’s SMEs ability to produce their own value-added products.
Finished products are goods that have completed the manufacturing process but have not yet been sold or distributed to the end-user.
The government’s Industrial Development Programme 2015-2025, aims to reduce imported finished products into the Kingdom. The programme states Cambodia is a country of agriculture with an abundance of raw materials for local production.
Okhna Te Taingpor, President of the Federation of Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia said without proper control of these imported products, the proper imported tax rates are not being applied. In turn, putting locally made products at an economic disadvantage.
“Not properly taxing these imported products is resulting in these products to be advertised for cheaper than their locally made alternatives and is killing the Kingdom’s SMEs,” Taingpor said.
“I call on the ministries who grant a license for these imported products to strengthen the requirements for importation. This is to ensure that all finished products have the correct tax implemented upon them,” he added.
There are currently two requirement licences for products to be sold, one for local and the other for imported products, typically from Vietnam and Thailand.
The Ministry of Commerce has said the ministry strictly checks all imported products into the Kingdom to ensure they are correctly taxed.
“Foreign products must be imported through the correct channels, so they do not enter illegally. They must also be issued with the correct licenses, this is to ensure that we can control the products that are crossing our borders and apply the appropriate tax upon them,” the ministry said.
Both the ministry and Okhna Te Taingpor agreed the need to promote locally made products and ensure that there is a fair playing field for both foreign and local SMEs.