Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Public-Private Dialogue on Protecting Cambodian Business

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Ministry of Commerce has conducted the “Public-Private Dialogue on Protecting Cambodia Business under Trade Remedies Law” on May 20 in Phnom Penh to discuss how to develop laws, approved by WTO, and how to provide local producers this protection in the future. The Public-Private Dialogue was under the financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

About 60 government officials and private stakeholders from private companies, national and international companies, law experts have participate in this public-private dialogue on protecting Cambodia business under Trade Remedies Law in Phnom Penh.

Sok Sopheak, Director General of the Ministry of Commerce, said that the purpose of the public and private dialogue was to discuss how to develop laws which were approved by WTO, and also to provide local producers with laws protection in future.

The Director General continued to say that when Cambodia joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), it agreed to open its markets to foreign competitors. WTO permits members countries to protect themselves against “dumped” products, import surges and other unfair or highly disruptive imports. He added that however, Cambodia must first develop laws, approved by WTO, to provide local producers this protection.

“The inter-ministerial working group is now writing a Trade Remedies Law which will, when adopted, provide the legal basis for Cambodia to protect local business under the WTO. Thus, this dialogue is important because it help participants to learn the statue of the draft Trade Remedies Law, meet business people with concerns about imports, and meet government officials, and local and international experts involved with the development of this important law,” he said during opening remarks at the dialogue.

Sopheak said that the public-private session puts the real life concerns of participating Cambodian businesses, large and small, at the center of discussion. The focus will be on understanding the cases presented by business people, in the content of WTO trade remedies.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia has officially become as a member of the WTO in 2006. Cambodia has been importing a lot of Cambodian goods and products for sales in Asia and European countries across the world. Most of Cambodian products exported mainly included rice, corn, soy bean, sesame, potato, rubber and fishes.

Mao Thora, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Commerce, said that to increase the farmers’ products for their future exports, the Ministry of Commerce is now working hard in training the farmers about the markets’ requirements, and seeking for the stable markets in ASEAN and European countries. He added that the Ministry now is also working hard in strengthening the qualities and quantities of the farmers’ products so that they can reach their buyers’ standards and requirements.

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