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‘Reforms sink commerce ministry’s revenue by 50%’

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Ministry of Commerce spokesman Pen Sovicheat said the decline in the ministry’s revenue last year was due to its reforms, expecially regarding export procedures. FRESH NEWS

‘Reforms sink commerce ministry’s revenue by 50%’

A reduction in red tape saw Ministry of Commerce revenue decline 50 per cent last year compared to 2018, its annual report revealed.

However, it said the bureaucratic reforms would boost the Kingdom’s competitiveness.

The report showed that the government had eliminated some export procedures in a bid to ease doing business and bolster trade.

The ministry’s revenue amounted to $26.60 million last year – a 50.6 per cent decline on 2018.

Ministry spokesman Pen Sovicheat told The Post on Tuesday that the decline in revenue was due to its reforms, especially regarding export procedures.

“We saw a decline in the ministry’s revenue last year, with this down to the elimination of some service fees. However, this will boost our economy because the [reforms] make [trade] easier and faster, and reduce costs.

“We hope revenue will increase again in the coming year as we [introduce] some new services,” Sovicheat said.

Among the reforms, he said, was the elimination of certificates of origin (COs) and the registered exporter system, with these now able to be applied for at the provincial level.

Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Sok Sopheak said earlier that it would lose $60 million annually due to the elimination in 2018 of certain export procedures.

He said the decision to remove export management fees had resulted in the loss of $20 million in annual revenue.

Exporters no longer being required to apply to the ministry for a CO had led to a $10 million loss, he said, while relieving Camcontrol from inspection duties at border checkpoints had resulted in a further $30 million loss.

The report showed that exports of goods totalled $10.8 billion to international markets in the first 10 months of last year – up 6.45 per cent year-on-year.

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