Ministry of Commerce Restructuring to be More Web Friendly

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Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol (right) and Mike Nelson (left) from Google spoke about the implications of the internet in Cambodia (KT Photo: Cecelia Marshall).

By Cecelia Marshall for The Khmer Times

PHNOM PENH, October 1 (Khmer Times) −The Ministry of Commerce is conducting reforms which will move the department into the Internet Age and attract outside investors.  

This reform comes at a time when Cambodia is nearing its ASEAN integration and will be competing in a larger economy, said Sun Chanthol, Minister of Commerce.

The two main modifications will come by offering bureaucratic processes online.

Private companies that need to acquire certificates of origin for their export products can now receive them online through an e-service provisional system. They no longer need to make a personal appearance at the ministry after submitting the required documents.

It is estimated that the ministry issues 6,000 certificates of origin a month, according to Mr. Sun Chanthol.

This saves time and money, which is important for companies that wish to do business in Cambodia, he said.

“By reducing these face-to-face meetings, government officials have less chance of asking the private sector for money under the table – which will reduce corruption,” said Mr. Chanthol.

“We are trying to attract investors that will create jobs. If not, people will migrate to [where] the jobs[are],” he said.

“My concern is that we will have a brain drain when educated people move to other countries for work and higher income,” he said.

“The new economy is transparent and globalized,” he said.  “As long as we have Internet users we can have a digital economy.”

In 2012 there were 2.7 million subscribers for the Internet. By 2013, this number jumped to 4 million.

“E-commerce is very important for selling products across the world,” he said. “We are also drafting e-commerce laws, and a PayPal service is in the works, with discussions between banks in Cambodia.”

“It’s not done yet.  It will continue into the future.”

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