Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Investors, government talk intellectual property

Investors, government talk intellectual property

Investors, government talk intellectual property

Foreign business and political leaders cautioned last week that Cambodia could have difficulty attracting investors if it does not crack down on counterfeit goods, while one government official said authorities did not have the resources to properly regulate imports.

At an event hosted by the European Chamber of Commerce (Eurocham), several speakers, including EU Ambassador George Edgar, extolled the benefits of protecting intellectual property and called widespread counterfeiting a “worrying phenomenon”.

“Companies have worked hard to produce the intellectual property incorporated in their products, and they deserve to reap the benefits of their labour,” Edgar said.

Jean-Gaetan Guillemaud, vice chairman of the Eurocham Healthcare Committee, noted the importance of stopping counterfeit pharmaceuticals, which have negative economic effects and cause more than a million deaths globally each year.

“Health care in Cambodia is an $800 million industry, and 15 to 20 percent of pharmaceuticals are estimated to be counterfeits in many markets,” he said.

Soy Monica, senior external affairs manager for consumer goods giant Unilever (Cambodia), said that more than 50 percent of the company’s products were affected by counterfeiting, with a loss of $4 million to $5 million in Cambodia alone.

“This is a serious concern,” she said, noting that the prevalence of counterfeiting in Cambodia would likely affect other companies’ decision to invest in the Kingdom.

“We [at Unilever] have hosted some workshops [to explain to people how to spot counterfeits], but we really should do more checks at the border,” she said. “It’s too hard for many consumers to determine just from looking at the packaging.”

But Em Wutthy, the pharmaceuticals expert for the Ministry of Interior’s Cambodian Counter Counterfeit Committee (CCCC), said the government simply wasn’t able to inspect all goods being imported.

“Most of the customs [officials] don’t have enough staff to check the border checkpoints,” he said, adding that Cambodia could not be sure that its goods were inspected at the border.

“Customs should work on these border checkpoints … [and] it is important companies come to [the CCCC] and try to protect their own brand.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Cambodia, Vietnam exchange border maps amid criticism

    Cambodia and Vietnam formally exchanged border maps on Monday despite criticism from former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that the Kingdom is losing land in the deal. The two countries said agreement on the border is 84 per cent complete, leaving