Cambodia's newly-drafted Investment Law will be in effect as soon as in April 2021, according to Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Phan Phalla on January 27.
He made the remark at the Public Forum on Macroeconomic Management and Budget Law 2021, ushering in a fresh wind of optimism that the document will sweeten the pot and entice investors to foray into the Kingdom.
With the finishing touches on the draft law complete, he said all that remains is for final approval from a number of institutions.
Comprising 11 chapters and 39 articles, he added that the new version of the law has been tailored to be more in line with social developments and better contend with some of the concerns that investors have raised.
“We have finalised the new law and will likely discuss it with the Economic and Financial Policy Committee early in February. After that, we will submit it to the Cabinet and then to the National Assembly.
“If all goes well and smooth, the new law might be submitted to the National Assembly and Senate in April and approved” within the same month, Phalla said.
He said the law would also include special tax exemptions for merchandise imports that are used in projects. “In the new law, we have stated that companies need not pay taxes on production input imports.”
According to Phalla, it also tackles human resource training and creates a more comfortable environment for workers.
“Once the law is enacted, our investment climate will improve and, at the same time, trim unnecessary spending, making Cambodia more attractive,” he said.
Consisting of nine chapters and 26 articles, the current Investment Law was approved by the National Assembly on August 4, 1994 and promulgated by the King on the very next day. It was reviewed in 2003, but remains unchanged.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on January 28 that CCC representatives provided feedback for the new law at a meeting at the ministry and another at the Council for the Development of Cambodia.
He lauded the law as more flexible and convenient than the existing version. “On behalf of the private sector, we really want this law to be implemented soon, given its straightforwardness, less convoluted procedural mechanisms and added incentives for local and foreign investors.”
He noted that the new piece of legislation is also in line with current technological developments and the government’s Industry 4.0-ready policy centred on bringing new investors onboard.