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

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian