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Trade remedy law to be discussed

Govt hopes meeting will help to stem the flow of ‘dishonest’ pig and fish imports to the Kingdom

THE government will discuss measures to prevent “dishonest” importing of goods and produce from neighbouring countries, during a meeting in Phnom Penh of some forty officials, legal and business experts today.

The agenda for the inter-ministry working group meeting, to be held at the Intercontinental Hotel, is to examine and discuss a draft of the trade remedy law.

Cambodia has been affected by informal importation of goods such as pigs, cement, roof tiles and fish from its neighbours.

It is alleged that such goods are sometimes imported in high numbers, sold at cheap prices, which undercut domestic markets and damage sales.

Sok Sopheak, director general of the General Directorate of International Trade of the Ministry of Commerce, said Wednesday that the meeting would give everybody a chance to raise problems related to the “dishonest” imports.

It would also tease out the articles of law required to support fair and honest competition between all goods producers.

“Through this meeting, we hope Cambodia will have a quality law which can be used to solve any problems negatively affecting local industry through the dishonest import business and very fast increases in imports,” Sok Sopheak said.

Curtis Hundley, chief of party of the USAID Cambodia MSME project, said that once the law is enacted, Cambodians will compete on a more equal plane.

“In 2007, a great many pigs were imported to sell in Cambodia at very low prices from Vietnam, and in 2008 a lot of products were imported from Thailand,” he said

The draft trade remedy law includes points required by the World Trade Organisation for implementing measures to prevent the problem.

It will be sent to the Council of Ministers by the inter-ministry working group to revise and edit early next year, before being submitted to the National Assembly for approval.

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