The Cambodia-Australia Consumer Protection Partnership (CACPP) based in Siem Reap province was officially launched on September 16, with Australian Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing Tim Ayres and Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak in attendance.

CACPP is a three-year partnership worth AUD 1.35 million (over $900,000) tasked with building and strengthening the capacity of Cambodian officials to support the effective implementation of consumer and competition laws, said the press statement of the Australian embassy.

It is a partnership between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Cambodian Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression directorate-general (CCF).

“The partnership we are launching today – the Cambodia-Australia Consumer Protection Partnership – is, for me, an extraordinary symbol of the unique connection between our two countries,” said Ayres, who also serves in the Australian Senate..

The statement said this program will build up the investigation and external engagement skills of CCF, develop investigation tools, provide staff mentoring and facilitate broader international relationships.

It said the programme is to support Cambodia in implementing the Consumer Law of 2019 and the Competition Law of 2021. It is also a part of the Australian integrated package of support to drive the region’s economic recovery after Covid-19.

It said that the programme contributes to strengthening Australia’s broader work under the ASEAN – Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and is part of the AUD232 million Mekong-Australia partnership initiative to help Mekong countries recover from the pandemic.

It will also provide sustained, long-term access to senior experts from the ACCC and will also support Cambodia in building stronger relationships and connections with ASEAN consumer protection and competition colleagues.