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Senate committee passes investment law

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Senate Third Committee chairman Mong Reththy at the meeting on September 16. SENATE

Senate committee passes investment law

The new investment law will be more attractive and provide the Kingdom with better options to navigate the constantly evolving regional and global investment climate, according to Senate Third Committee chairman Mong Reththy.

The agriculture tycoon and billionaire made the remark at a committee meeting on September 16, which unanimously passed (5-0) the draft Law on Investment without amendment, referring it to the Senate for review and approval.

Reththy said the bill is designed to create an open, transparent and predictable legal framework that is conducive to investment, as well as to attract and promote quality, efficient and effective domestic and international investments tailored to support socio-economic development.

“The draft law seeks to provide incentives for priority sectors, technical and technological solutions, job creation, skills training, research and development, innovation, and small- and medium-sized enterprises,” he said.

The National Assembly approved the draft law at a plenary session on September 9.

Exactly two months prior, the Council of Ministers, or Cabinet, on July 9 passed the bill, following a plenary session chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen and held via Zoom. Once enacted, the new law will replace existing legislation – the 1994 Law on Investment and 2003 amendment, according to a press release on the minutes of the session.

“The law is aimed at increasing Cambodia’s potential of attracting more domestic and foreign investors,” Hun Sen said, highlighting that peace and stability are key priorities for investors.

“We see that investors prioritise this when deciding on Cambodia as an investment destination, regardless of the global situation in politics and trade,” he added.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng previously told The Post that the bill is relatively flexible to technological developments and international trade in the digital era, and was refined amid the global economic turmoil caused by the health crisis, he said.

Heng underscored that the law was drafted with input from the private sector.

Reththy went on to say that the draft law also revised and improved administrative procedures with regard to the registration of qualified investment projects.

The bill will reduce the time frame to issue registration certificates from 31 days to 20 working days, in a strategy geared towards fostering greater competitiveness and attractiveness for the Kingdom, he said, stressing that applications can be completed online.

And to assure investors, he said, the draft law incorporates some of Cambodia’s international obligations, in a display of the government’s commitment to protect investments and provide guarantees and maintenance services, in line with international law and non-discriminatory standards.

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) said it approved 87 new investment projects and expansions of existing ones in 2020, worth more than $2.96962 billion.

Last year, the Kingdom’s exports reached $17.21537 billion, up 16.72 per cent over $14.74874 billion in 2019, the Ministry of Commerce said in its 2020 annual performance report.

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