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CIB to streamline investment procedures

THE Cambodian Investment Board (CIB) is preparing to implement a new strategy for foreign investment that aims to simplify bureaucracy and improve the quality of services.

"We have already made changes in the import-export sector by adopting a Single Administration Document, whereby authorities check all goods at a single location to save time and money," said Suon Sithy, secretary general of CIB.

Previously, investments required a 28-day waiting period as paperwork moved between various ministries. Under the new strategy, simple investments will require only seven to 10 days for an answer directly from the CIB, Suon Sithy said.

He said more complicated investments related to the environment or politics will still be subject to the 28-day requirement.

"We are walking the right path, though we haven't yet reached our goal," Suon Sithy said. "We are making investment easier by not requiring the same documents be submitted to all relevant ministries."

Suon Sithy said the board has also put in place a risk-management strategy for imports and exports that requires inspection of only suspicious or "irregular" cargo, while simplifying the process for companies that respect the law while meeting the needs of their customers. "We have made progress in promoting Cambodia as an attractive investment target and creating a good business climate for potential investors, but more needs to be done," he said.

Economist Sok Sina said Cambodia's investment laws have improved and current trends show a strengthening investment market.  

"We can already see that trade volumes are getting bigger and bigger," he said.

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