Thursday, 24.4.2008: Eight Questions of the Private Sector Answered

Posted on 25 April 2008. Filed under: Week 557 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 557

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen has dealt with eight requests of the co-chairs of Working Groups of the private sector, which were raised by Senior Minister Keat Chhon at the 13th Government-Private Sector Forum [the Working Groups are the main fields of activities of the forum; each is co-chaired by a minister and a member of the private sector]. On the occasion of this forum, the Cambodian Prime Minister addressed also ‘the situation of inflation and measures to maintain the stability of the macro-economy, and to guarantee further growth in Cambodia.’

“On Wednesday 23 April 2008, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, presided, as usual, over the 13th Government-Private Sector Forum, convened to provide outlook, strategies, measures, and high level decisions for implementation.

“Senior Minister and Minister of the Economy and Finance Mr. Keat Chhon coordinated the forum.

“The difference between the 13th Government-Private Sector Forum and previous forums was that, among all eight representatives of the Working Groups, not one person raised the questions directly to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen. Senior Minister Mr. Keat Chhon raised the eight questions from the co-chairs of the Working Groups, and Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen responded, and presented his outlook and his strategies.

“1.The Working Group on Agriculture and Agro-Industry (Group A) requested a decrease of customs tax, and an exemption from value added tax on goods imported for the agricultural sector.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen responded that he resolved this issue already and signed it, since 11 April 2008, in a sub-decree on the decrease of tax and the exemption from value added tax on goods imported for the agricultural sector. The tax rate on goods will drop to zero.

The goods for the agricultural sector, for which the tax will decrease to zero, include simple truck replacement transporters, tractors, plowing machines, rice threshing machines, rice mills, incubators for hatching eggs, seed germination appliances, animal food, and materials for the production of animal food etc. Samdech Dekchor added that this is a measure to help investors in agriculture, and it supports also our farmers.

“2. The Working Group on Tourism (Group B) requests the royal government to create a conference center or an exhibition facility in the city, to attract conferences of organizations or international exhibitions to Phnom Penh.

“Samdech Dekchor provided an outlook for this request, saying the royal government does not have enough funds to construct a conference or exhibition center in Phnom Penh. This should be conducted by investment companies. Samdech said the construction of the CamKo Satellite City, the project of the GS Company (on the land of the former site of the theater that burned down), and the project to build a Novotel hotel – all these plans include the construction of conference centers, so this request should be solved with the private sector.

“3. The Working Group on Manufacturing and Small and Medium Enterprises (Group C) requested encouragement for the local production and export of goods. Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that he made a decision on this request, together with the request from the agricultural sector, already on 11 April 2008. Samdech Dekchor stated that the royal government has already decided to decrease the tax rate to zero on some materials, on metal such as zinc, aluminum, copper, and nickel, and on some chemicals, and to decrease the tax rate from 35% to 7% for organic chemicals.

“4. The Working Group on Law, Tax and Good Governance (Group D) requested to speed up the issuing of land titles, in order to use land titles as collateral for capital loans.

“Samdech Dekchor said that he welcomes this request because it is reasonable. Samdech agreed that land titles can be used as mortgage for capital loans; they are not only for the safe holding of property, but they can be used when seeking capital from a bank. For this reason, the royal government welcomes this and promises to push the issuing of land titles.

Samdech said that at present, 25,000 land titles are issued per month, and this will be increased to 30,000 per month, after some officials of the Ministry of Territorial Management, Urbanization and Construction will have finished their training.

“5. The Working Group on Services, including Banking and Finance (Group E) requested the National Bank of Cambodia to increase the reserve capital that the commercial banks have to deposit with the National Bank form 8 to 16%.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said the increase of the required reserve capital for commercial banks is to reduce the amount of money in circulation, especially to cut down the credit from the banking systems to the private sector, which had increased strongly during these last few months. The required reserve capital for commercial banks is at present 8%. As the first step, the National Bank of Cambodia plans to increase this rate to 16%, paying interest to the commercial banks for the required reserve capital, which will increase by 8%. Samdech Dekchor said that we would like to call all commercial banks to understand this as a measure to avoid risks to our entire nation. However, to what level the rate should eventually increase, and how much interest should be paid, ‘please discuss this together with the private sector.’

“6. The Working Group on Energy, Infrastructure, and Transport (Group F) requested to open offices for selling tickets to passengers and to buy insurance under agreements for the transportation across the Cambodian-Vietnamese border.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen advised to create a delegation to negotiate with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, and to ask for the opening of such offices and sites for selling tickets for travel to Vietnam. To buy insurance requires a meeting to discuss this with the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

“7. The Working Group on Export Processing and Trade Facilitation (Group G) requested the limitation of the rate of contributions for covering risks at work. Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that for the further study and discussion, covering of work related risks is set at the rate of 0.8% of social benefit payments; but as to the question how much, in percentage, the private sector wants to set, ‘please continue to discuss this with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.’

“8. The Working Group on Industrial Relations (Group H) requested the royal government to create a law on trade unions, and a law to create labor courts.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen responded to this request that the Ministry of Labor must conduct further research to draft a law, discussing this with partners. As for labor courts, which have already been foreseen in the labor law, the Council of Legislative Reform or the Ministry must prepare the creation of such courts.

“Furthermore, Samdech Dekchor Prime Minister Hun Sen commented in detail on the inflation, which existed since the beginning of 2008, and he also provided an outlook, strategies, and many good suggestions for government official to be implemented.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4571, 24 .4.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 24 April 2008


Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #86, 24.4.2008

  • Khiev Samphan’s Lawyer Jacques Verges Declares to Sue Khmer Tribunal on Accusation of Not Respecting the French Language [according to the regulations, all documents for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have to be available in the three languages Khmer, English, and French, but many documents for the hearing of Khiev Samphan are not translated into French]
  • Prey Veng Department Official of Education Takes Riel 341,000 [approx. US$89] from Payment of Teachers for Illiterates Each Year

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1623, 24.4.2008

  • Hearing of Khiev Samphan Postponed because Documents Have Not Been Translated into French
  • Phnom Penh Faces More and More Blackouts [because of the hot weather and the many new buildings]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #139, 24.4.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Is Not Afraid of Hor Namhong’s Lawsuit


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6327, 24.4.2008

  • Registration of Parties and Candidates Will Start from 28 April and End on 12 May for Elections in July 2008


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3442, 24.4.2008

  • Sam Rainsy: Sam Rainsy Party Will Join with Any Party That Is Not a Puppet of Another Party
  • [Sam Rainsy Party deputy secretary-general and parliamentarian from Takeo] Kuoy Bunroeun: Sam Rainsy Party Asks National Election Committee to Prevent Hun Sen from Speaking in a Way which Intimidates Voters


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4571, 24.4.2008

  • Eight Questions of the Private Sector Answered
  • UN Population Fund Plans to Provide Aid of US$27 Million to Cambodia


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3292, 24.4.2008

  • Samdech Krom Preah [Prince Norodom Ranariddh] Says Cambodia Is Unfortunate because It Has a Prime Minister Who Likes to Insult and Not to Care about the Nation

Have a look at last week’s editorial: How irrational emotions may be a block to see reality and its challenges
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