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Private sector gears up for biannual meet

Private sector gears up for biannual meet

SIX hundred representatives from the government, private sector, nongovernmental organisations and the diplomatic service will meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen today in the twice-annual Government-Private Sector Forum.

Industry leaders will be pushing for changes they say will prepare for the economic crisis, increase export competitiveness and improve the business climate.

The forum functions as a de facto Cabinet meeting,k and its decisions are legally binding, said a statement by the International Finance Corp  - part of the World Bank Group.

The meeting will be led by representatives from eight sectoral working groups: agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, tax and governance, banking, energy, infrastructure and transport, and exports and industrial relations.

The tourist sector hopes to see the passage of the tourism law and the establishment of a marketing board.

Manufacturers will urge a VAT cut on imported food and machinery and better access to preservative chemicals.

For land, tax and good governance, the industry will press for legalisation of land titles for condominiums.

Banking is encouraging  more flexible policies for the sector, while the energy and infrastructure sector is pushing for lower internet costs and better interconnections.

Export and trade delegates will urge  better labour relations, lower customs clearance charges and a 20 percent cut in export management fees.

Industrial relations requests include a drive for collective bargaining agreements and the establishment of a labour court.  Agriculture hopes for better cooperation between farmers and the government.

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