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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Double-tax talks with VN on hold until 2010

Double-tax talks with VN on hold until 2010

CAMBODIA will not discuss a Vietnamese proposal to end double taxation on goods crossing the border until 2010, Em Sophoan, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said Tuesday.

The Vietnamese trade ministry made the proposal at a bilateral meeting in early December in response to a complaint by the country’s exporters over tax rates of 25 to 40 percent that they said hinder access to the Cambodian market, according to a report by Viet Nam News.

The report said the Vietnamese trade ministry put forward a list of 32 essential items on which Cambodia should consider lowering tariffs.

“We have not responded to [the Vietnamese] yet,” said Em Sophoan, adding internal government discussions were under way ahead of further talks with Vietnam at the 12th Joint Commission next year.

“It is no small thing because it will impact our national revenue,” he said.

Ending double taxation would pave the way for increased cross-border trade in both directions, though Cambodia needs time to take a position on the issue, Ung Sean, secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said this month.

“We have never made a deal like this with any nation,” he said.

A government announcement Tuesday said that Prime Minister Hun Sen would lead a delegation to Ho Chi Minh City Saturday to attend a conference on investments in Cambodia by Vietnamese entrepreneurs.

Bilateral trade fell an annualised 29.7 percent in the first 10 months to US$1.049 billion, according to the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh.

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