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Trade attache to US meets ‘Phnom Penh Noodle’ importer

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Nam Vang Noodles utilise an image of Angkor Wat on their packaging and were recently found on sale in the US. FACEBOOK

Trade attache to US meets ‘Phnom Penh Noodle’ importer

The Cambodian trade attache to the US on August 26 met with an importer of the “Nam Vang Noodle” brand, which has landed in hot water with Cambodian authorities for using the image of Angkor Wat temple and “Phnom Penh” name on its products without authorisation from the government.

The Cambodian embassy in Washington said in a statement on August 26 that it had spotted the products for sale at Asian supermarkets across the US East Coast, bearing an illustration of the iconic archaeological site and the names “Phnom Penh” and “Nam Vang” – its Vietnamese appellation.

It ruled out that these products had originated from the Kingdom, and underscored that the Cambodian authorities had not granted permission to use the image or name.

The embassy did not immediately indicate a perceived country of origin of the products. But of note, the labelling on the packaging contains Chinese, English and Vietnamese – the language of the brand name.

The act constitutes a violation of Cambodian law and international treaties and agreements on trademarks, and misleads consumers into believing that the products come from the Kingdom, it said.

“The embassy investigated and identified [the importer], sent the embassy’s commercial counsellor to meet the company and lay down the law, and issued an official notice to the firm to stop importing and selling the products,” it added.

On its website, the embassy identifies its commercial counsellor, or trade attache, as Sam Sithisak.

The embassy went on to say that it would “take further action in case the company does not comply with the notice”.

It called on all Cambodians in the US, especially students, to refrain from buying Nam Vang Noodle-branded products.

It also urged the Cambodian diaspora there to report any products that illegally bear or contain any images or logos belonging to the Kingdom, saying the US will take swift legal action against any offending party according to the law.

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