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Inchcape pulls out

I NCHCAPE Testing Services limped out of Cambodia this week, a very public casualty in the fallout following the sacking of former Finance Minister Sam Rainsy.

Inchcape Testing General Manager Bill Fletcher's short press release Nov 11 blamed "the appropriate administrative framework required to perform the preshipment inspection service not having been confirmed by the government."

It was little secret that Rainsy had been the champion of Inchcape, whose job it would have been to audit imports, ensuring invoices were correct and that full and fair taxes and duties were charged.

However, Inchcape's contract was never honored.

Rainsy was accused of signing contracts without proper authority or consideration, clashing head to head with the powerful Commerce Ministry.

Fletcher said that Inchcape regretted the government's decision not to implement Rainsy's contract. "However, we still believe that the preshipment inspection program agreed upon in the contract would be of significant benefit to Cambodia," he said.

Fletcher said Inchcape "remained at the disposal of the government for possible re-negotiation."

Rainsy said the Inchcape closure was sad news and a setback to Cambodia.

There were "too many vested interests in the Customs Department" and they "did not like the idea of Inchcape performing preshipment inspections," he said.

Inchcape could have curbed corruption in the department, he said.

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