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World Bank: Most sectors seen as open to foreigners

World Bank
CAMBODIA is more open to foreign investment than many other countries in East Asia and the Pacific region; however, opening a foreign-owned business still takes

about twice as long as the international mean, according to a World Bank report released yesterday.

“Most of the sectors in Cambodia covered by the report are fully open to foreign capital participation,” it said. The bank reported that the Kingdom scored above the regional average for openness to foreign capital in all 11 sectors surveyed.

The sectors surveyed ranged from light manufacturing to insurance.

However, opening a foreign-owned business in the Kingdom required an average of 86 days, the Investing Across Borders 2010 report stated.
This was more than double the international average of 42 days and above the regional average of 68 days.

Cambodia received an “ease of establishment” score of 44.7 out of 100 for starting foreign-owned businesses, a rating well below neighbouring Vietnam’s 57.9 and Thailand’s 60.5.

Although the Kingdom also fared well on the strength of lease rights, finishing 10th overall out of the 87 countries covered by the survey, the report found that leasing public land was more difficult than private land.

It cited difficulties in enforcing land rights and additional legal requirements and procedures to be completed.

Resolving land-ownership disputes was also complicated by Cambodia’s land information system, it added.

“The registry and the cadastre are neither located in the same agency nor set up to share data,” said the report, which covered ease of investment throughout the world.

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