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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trade bill on fast track-minister

Trade bill on fast track-minister

C ommerce Minister Var Huoth said he hopes a trade law will be

passed by the end of June, which will also lead to the creation of a chamber of

commerce and a national center for the promotion of trade.

Huoth said

that the trade law together with another bill governing investment, which is

expected to be rushed through the National Assembly, are designed to make

conditions as attractive as possible to foreign investors.

In an

exclusive interview with the Post , Huoth said: "Investors have to have

confidence in the situation that is why the Ministry of Commerce is now drawing

up a code of commerce, or we can say a law of trade."

He said that two

books of five have already been drafted and passed to the premiers' offices for

scrutiny. French advisors had helped in drawing up the legislation, Huoth

added.

He said: "It will contain articles concerning the registration of

trade and companies, bankruptcy and the setting up of a trade court to settle

disputes. plus setting up of the chamber of commerce. We hope to have it passed

by the end of the first half of the year.

"The law of trade and the law

of investment will provide as much incentive as possible to foreign investors to

come here."

Once the legislation is passed, he said, the way will be

clear to set up the chamber of commerce, the national center for trade promotion

and a farm producers' association.

When asked about biggest problems the

country is facing on the commerce front Huoth said: "Improving the supply of

power is a priority, which the government is addressing "

As he spoke the

lights went out and the minister conceded from the gloom that the timing of the

blackout was "unfortunate."

Huoth said he preferred to talk in terms of

objectives rather than problems.

Another of the key objectives, he said,

was to bring down the imbalance in trade. He said there is currently a one to

eight ratio in terms of value of exports to value of imports.

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