A new draft of the Competition Law will be submitted to the Council of Ministers by the end of the year, according to a representative of the Ministry of Commerce.
Mao Thora, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, told Khmer Times that officials at the ministry’s Camcontrol Department are currently reviewing and making amendments to the new draft and will soon pass it on to Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak for approval before sending it to the Council of Ministers.
“We’ve checked every clause and we are now nearly finished,” Mr Thora said. “We want to make sure everything is correct before submitting it to the council.”
Camcontrol is the agency in charge of import and export inspection.
The Competition Law is designed to help consumers purchase goods and services at fair prices, as well as increasing the quality and variety of the offer available to them.
The new legislation was envisioned to give more incentives to entrepreneurs to run their businesses efficiently and fairly, promote the establishment of new businesses, as well as protect the economy from harmful anti-competitive practices.
It will also benefit the public by providing competitive incentives that will stimulate economic growth, and bolster sustainability and innovation, according to government officials.
Speaking at the workshop ‘Policy and Competition Law in Cambodia’ held last week, Tekreth Kamrang – also a secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce – admitted there have been some delays in getting the draft ready, saying it was partly caused by a change in the legal assistance the ministry was receiving.
“It took us some time to finish the draft. We had to deal with a change in the legal assistance we were receiving, with a new expert coming in to help us. The law is also extremely complex and we had to make sure it was in compliance with national legislation,” Ms Kamrang explained.
Most Asean nations already have a Competition Law, so Cambodia is lagging behind in this regard, she noted.
Rayne De Gruchy, CEO of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), speaking during the workshop, said a lot of effort and time has been put in by the government to get the new legislation ready.
“The draft law benefits from the input of multiple stakeholders and experts to guarantee it complies with international legislation and is appropriate given the current level of development in the kingdom,” Ms Gruchy said.
Kim Meas Sokseiha, deputy general director of Camcontrol, said a competition law is essential to strengthen the business environment, stressing that the legislation will incentivise competition and innovation.
“An efficient competition law guarantees market players operate in a business environment where competition is not restrained, and the principles of a free-market economy are protected,” Mr Sokseiha said.
The Council of Ministers is currently debating drafts for the Consumer Protection Law and the E-commerce Law.