The traffic in counterfeit goods has become so serious, it has prompted both Cambodian and Thai authorities to co-host a workshop on combating counterfeit products.
The workshop, entitled “Workshop for Thai Business in Cambodia on Countering Counterfeit Products”, organised by the Royal Thai Embassy, the Thai Business Council in Cambodia and the Cambodia Counter Counterfeit Committee, was held on September 19 in Phnom Penh.
The workshop was attended by Thailand’s Ambassador to Cambodia, Panyarak Poolthub, Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior Secretary of State and President of the Cambodian Counter Counterfeit Committee, Meach Sophana, as well as representatives of other ministries and institutions and Thai investors.
Panyarak Poolthub, who spoke at the workshop,said there was an increase in the number of Thai investors coming to Cambodia and the number of products imported was on the uptrend. He said to ensure the quality of the products being imported are high, combating counterfeit or fake products was very important.
Panyarak Poolthub said “With the ongoing excellent relations and improvement of procedures to facilitate cross-border trade, bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand is likely to grow in the coming years. To continue this momentum and promote further trade and investment, a serious issue such as counterfeiting must be dealt with. It cannot be shouldered by a single agency or a single country alone. Therefore, the Royal Thai Embassy, the Thai Business Council in Cambodia and the Cambodia Counterfeit Committee have joined hands to organise and promote this event.
“While we might not be able to eradicate counterfeiting overnight, promoting awareness and witnessing Cambodia’s sincere efforts can be very encouraging to all foreign investors,” he added.
Meanwhile, Meach Sophana, said Cambodia’s standard of living has improved and there was a corresponding increase in the number of new products being imported. However, so has the number of counterfeit products, he added.
Meach Sophana said that combating counterfeit products is crucial because it is in the interest of individuals, families, society as well as bilateral trade relations to ensure only genuine products are traded.
He added that the Cambodian Counter Counterfeit Committee has been working hard to prevent the production and import of counterfeit products.
Sophana said that the fake products included clothing, bags, shoes, medicines, auto spare parts, electronics and even food products.
“Most counterfeit products are low in quality and contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to human life,” he said.
“The Committee will identify and invite experts to explain to the people how they can spot fake products. This is the main aim of the Committee and to safeguard the health of the people.”
Also present at the workshop was Dr Poohrich Sinwat, who is the Thai Business Council in Cambodia Vice President and Department Manager, Strategic Development and Marketing, C.P. Cambodia Co., Ltd.
He said that because all products from his company are made in Cambodia, there is no problem with fakes. He added that safety management is very important and he strongly supports checks on the quality of the products, especially food items.
“Combating the fake products is something that licensed investors want because it will help to build their brand confidence,” Dr Poohrich Sinwat said.
According to a Thai-Cambodian Business Report received from Thai Embassy, in the first half of 2019, trade volume between the two countries was worth $4.2 billion, up seven per cent over the same period in 2018.
Last year, the bilateral trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand was about $8.3 billion.