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Consumer protection norms to ensure post-Covid business harmony: minister

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Cambodia Chamber of Commerce president Kith Meng (left), commerce minister Pan Sorasak (centre) and GIZ’s Frank Jattke at the workshop on Thursday. COMMERCE MINISTRY

Consumer protection norms to ensure post-Covid business harmony: minister

Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak reiterated a called for businesspeople to fulfil their obligations to protect consumers in accordance with the laws and regulations in force and contribute to the shared overarching objectives of harmonisation and sustainable development.

The minister made the appeal on September 23 at the National Workshop on Dissemination of the Law on Consumer Protection under the theme “Promoting Ethical Business in Cambodia: Consumer Well-being and Your Business”.

The virtual and in-person workshop was organised by the Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), with a total of 150 participants from the private sector and development partners.

The purpose of the workshop was to share insight into the ASEAN Online Business Code of Conduct, which is designed to encourage fair business practices in the ever-evolving e-commerce environment.

The minister encouraged consumers to report anyone who deploys dishonest business tactics to the ministry or the National Committee for Consumer Protection – through the Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General – to find a common resolution in a timely manner.

“Effective consumer protection requires businesses to be informed of their obligations to consumers and to avoid any actions that could distort or misrepresent facts, or otherwise harm consumers, whether in traditional operations or in e-commerce.

“Protecting the interests and rights of consumers should not be considered as an obstacle to business. Instead, businesses ought to sell products and services honestly and serve their customers fairly,” he said.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce president Kith Meng, who attended the workshop, said the Law on Consumer Protection will spread awareness and protect businesspeople and consumers domestically, as the Kingdom assumes the ASEAN chairmanship next year.

The law will help shape Cambodian relations with ASEAN and other countries, and enhance the business and investment attractiveness of the Kingdom, he said.

Frank Jattke, head of the GIZ ASEAN Working Group in Cambodia, said that conducting business with integrity and fairness is a key factor in boosting business success, stressing that performing to the full satisfaction of customers better enables companies to expand their reach.

“This code of conduct is expected to be disseminated throughout all ASEAN member countries and is also part of efforts to rebuild the country after the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.

Approved on November 2, 2019, the Law on Consumer Protection comprises 11 chapters and 51 articles, and aims to ensure consumer protection and promote integrity in business competition.

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