Ministry to world: Reduce trade barriers

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Trade barriers such as tariffs, import quotas, subsidies, and specific requirements can slow down economic recovery and trade processes. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

The Ministry of Commerce has stressed the need to reduce or eliminate trade barriers through national, regional and global trade facilitation mechanisms as an important way to speed up economic recovery.

Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak emphasised that opening markets for trade and action plans should focus on improving economic connectivity and strengthening of the global supply chain.

 

Speaking at a discussion on “Addressing Trade Barriers for Recovery” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on May 23, Sorasak identified Cambodia’s activities to facilitate trade, which include strategic frameworks and programmes to restore and spur economic growth in living with Covid-19 in the new normal.

He also pointed out the adoption of Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), the National Single Window system, and other reforms that accelerated the customs clearance process at the border for general goods, essential medical supplies and equipment during the Covid-19 crisis.

Sorasak urged that issues affecting least developed countries, for instance compliance with export requirements – proof of non-manipulation or Certificate of Origin (CO) – should be replaced with self-certification so as to reduce the cost for exporters.

Ministry spokesman Penn Sovicheat told The Post on May 24 that the removal of regional and global trade barriers was to ensure quick economic growth following Covid-19.

While Cambodia has implemented important policies for economic recovery, the Ukraine conflict could pose a problem to growth.

He lauded the recommendations made by Sorasak at the WEF and his highlight that Cambodia’s vaccination rate was the among the highest in the world which enabled it to fully open its economy earlier than others.

 

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on May 24 that in terms of international trade, trade barriers focus on tariffs, overlapping tariffs, administrative work and transportation, which can slow down economic recovery and trade processes.

Vanak said once the economic barrier is removed, Cambodia and other countries can attract more international investors to invest through cooperation between investors and local traders.

“We all know these issues, which have had a lot of negative effects. In the past, there have been trade barriers.

“That is why the government is working to address it by creating a new investment law, establishing special economic zones and facilitating transportation to attract international investors and accelerate economic growth,” he added.