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The government of Cambodia is working on new laws to regulate special economic zones and investment, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday..
The new laws will attract investment into the country by providing incentives, enhancing transparency, and promoting fair competition. They are part of government reforms to improve the business environment here, the premier said.
Speaking at the 14th Cambodia Import Export One Province One Product Exhibition, held on Sunday in Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the new regulations will create a comprehensive and balanced regulatory framework in accordance with the investment conditions in the country.
“The objective is to establish a transparent, favourable and effective regulatory framework to promote investment and modernisation, and enhance industrial productivity,” Mr Hun Sen said.
The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) is drafting the laws, he pointed out. According to CDC, there are 23 active SEZs, employing a combined 130,000 people. These SEZs are home to 490 factories.
Lim Heng, vice president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said the new laws will attract foreign investment, and noted that they are necessary to face current industry trends like the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“It is good news that the country is working on a new law on special economic zones. Many foreign investors want to set up factories in SEZs because bureaucratic procedures are facilitated. SEZs also have all the infrastructure that companies need,” Mr Heng noted.
“We still follow the old law on special economic zones, but, to catch up with current trends like Industry 4.0, it is important that we update this law,” Mr Heng said. “With all the new reforms to facilitate doing business here, we believe Cambodia will become a very attractive investment destination.”
CCC is providing input on the drafting of the new laws, Mr Heng said. He said he expects the new SEZ Law to be approved in 2020.
Foreign direct investment has provided Cambodia the financial resources, technologies, skills, and know-how to develop the country sustainably, Mr Hun Sen said on Sunday. It has increased employment opportunities for Cambodians, expanded domestic production and improved the quality of products made in Cambodia, he said.
The government said there is still work to be done to expand the production base, develop infrastructure, improve logistics, facilitate trade, and reduce the cost of electricity and other expenses.