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EuroCham Cambodia launches White Book

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Arnaud Darc (left) and Council for the Development of Cambodia secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea hold two copies of the EuroCham White Book 2019. HENG SOK KUNG VIA FACEBOOK

EuroCham Cambodia launches White Book

The European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (EuroCham Cambodia) has launched the third version of its White Book for 2019 to advise European investors doing business in the Kingdom.

The White Book is a set of recommendations on trade and investment policies compiled by EuroCham Cambodia. It will submit the book to the government for it to consider the regulatory and structural constraints faced in doing business in the Kingdom.

EuroCham Cambodia president Arnaud Darc said: “We envisage that over the coming year, the reforms that we seek through this book will enhance Cambodia’s business environment.

“This book will help drive more investment from Europe and other regions to Cambodia.”

The book was compiled under the guidance of a committee of experts from 10 sectors.

The sectors include investment protection, human resources, vehicles, customs, transportation and logistics, doing business, communication and information technology, green business, health, real estate and construction.

However, Darc also expressed his concerns about the possible suspension of EBA. He said suspension would affect the Kingdom’s economy.

“The suspension of EBA will limit Cambodia’s exports to the EU, including sports goods, bicycles and textiles,” he said.

Darc also noted that overreliance on financial resources from China could pose a risk in the future.

“We cannot put all of our eggs into one basket, it is a risk to Cambodia. The financial flow from Chinese tourists could affect the Cambodian economy,” he said.

Council for the Development of Cambodia secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea said the Kingdom is widely open to all investors, not only the Chinese.

“If there are no Chinese, who will build an expressway from Preah Sihanouk province to Phnom Penh? Do you have a problem that a Chinese company is building the expressway?

“I do not speak on behalf of the Chinese government. I am a diplomat,” he said during the book launch ceremony on Monday.

Chinese-owned Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd has secured a project worth nearly $2 billion to build a 190km expressway from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province, which is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

China is Cambodia’s largest creditor, accounting for 48.4 per cent of the Kingdom’s total outstanding debt as of the first half of last year, according to a World Bank report.

China is currently also the Kingdom’s leading foreign investor.

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