The Council of Ministers has approved a draft law on waterway transport. The new bill aims to provide transparent investment opportunities in a bid to ensure the safety and security, and competitiveness, of waterway transport.
This draft was among four other agenda items approved during a February 2 plenary meeting at the Peace Palace, chaired by Prime Minister Hun Manet, according to the council’s press release.
Comprising 18 chapters and 275 articles, the draft law defines the management and development of the Kingdom’s waterway transport and port sector.
The bill aims to maintain order and ensure the safety and security of waterway transport, as well as building and maintaining infrastructure and contributing to environmental protection. It will provide investment opportunities and transparency, in order to serve domestic and international markets and support economic development.
“The scope of this draft law applies to civil ships, crews, ports, ship owners, waterway infrastructure, and other related activities within the territory and jurisdiction of Cambodia, with the exception of ships, ports and other parts of infrastructure which serve the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Interior, as defined in a separate legal document,” added the release.
Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) president Sin Chanthy said on February 3 that the draft law is very important for the waterway transport sector, noting that the Kingdom possesses many bodies of water, including rivers and territorial coastal waters.
“As we know, the government has plans to develop infrastructure and waterway transport, including through the construction of new ports and canals. The control of these requires a new law. Of all means of transport, waterway transport is the most affordable and has the most potential for growth. Therefore, the preparation of this waterway transport law is timely,” he said.
Chanthy expects that when the new law comes into force, it will drive development of the sector, which will likely lead to increased investment.
According to the press release, the draft law is part of phase one of the seventh-mandate government’s Pentagonal Strategy.