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Business climate better

Improved credit access one of key reforms

IT has become easier to do business in Cambodia, according to the World Bank, which ranks the Kingdom 135 out of 181 countries surveyed in its "Doing Business 2009" report released Wednesday.

While acknowledging that much more work needs to be done, the World Bank said Cambodia was one of the top reformers in the areas of access to credit and opening new enterprises.

"These are very encouraging results," said Stephane Guimbert, senior country economist for the Bank in Cambodia, "especially when you consider that many other countries are also making reforms."

The assessment is based on reviews of laws and regulations, as well as interviews with area businesses.

"The business climate is much changed today," said Kang Chandarot, director of the Cambodian Institute for Development Study.

"This shows that government officials are improving services and gaining more experience from their daily jobs," he said.

He added, however, that transparency remains a problem in Cambodia, especially in the area of awarding contracts.

"Many qualified people fail to successfully bid for projects," he said, adding that contracts are often given to friends and family rather than the most competitive bidder.

"Transparency means that people are able to understand why they lost or won" a contract, he said.

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