Following a “successful” two-day outreach programme in Kep province, the Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF), in cooperation with Germany’s international development agency GIZ, is planning five more workshops to disseminate relevant laws and regulations.

The Kep workshop – “The implementation of the laws on competition, consumer protection and food safety” – was held on January 26-27

The first day of the workshop was attended by about 150 stakeholders including local business owners; members of the provincial chambers of commerce of Kampot-Kep, Kandal and Takeo; provincial court prosecutors; and CCF branches of the aforementioned provinces.

The second day saw about 60 technical officials, including representatives from the commerce departments of Kep, Kampot, Kandal and Takeo, as well as the CCF branches of the capital and the four provinces, according to CCF director-general Phan Oun.

Oun told The Post on January 29 that the workshop served as a forum for attendees to learn how to increase awareness of the new regulations among relevant parties, including business owners, consumers and law enforcement officers.

“It focused on four proclamations: One on legal methods of inspection and investigation under the competition law; one on the procedures for negotiating settlements; one on forms and procedures of inspections; and the other on the procedures for resolving negotiations for offences under the consumer protection law,” he said.

Oun added that the workshop had educated the officials who were recently granted judicial powers by an inter-ministerial proclamation by the ministries of commerce and justice.

“This was the first such workshop of the new year. We plan to organise five more across the country,” he continued.

In 2022, the CCF and GIZ jointly organised nationwide outreach workshops with similar objectives. This year, they plan to hold a total of six such workshops.

Ry Nouyel, an adviser for economic cooperation and private sector development at GIZ, said Stung Treng province has been selected for the next workshop. Officials from three neighbouring provinces – Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri and Kratie – will also attend.

She said the workshops serve as important forums to raise awareness among stakeholders about the implementation and importance of the new laws and regulations, including the new sub-decree on the management of advertising of products, goods and services. It is hoped that the new regulations will encourage fair competition, while also promoting compliance and protection of consumer rights.

“Participants also watched presentations on offences and sanctions, and then had the opportunity to discuss their questions and concerns with the speakers,” she said.