Gov't Launches ASEAN Trade Data Portal
Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said the website provides vital information to executives in Cambodia and the region in one place. Called the National Trade Repository (NTR) of Cambodia, the website describes itself as “the official source for all regulatory information relevant to traders who wish to import goods into Cambodia or export to other countries.”
“Cambodia has a duty to ensure information related to trade is made available to the public via the Internet. In this context, the NTR will become an important stepping stone to ease trade among the ASEAN members,” he explained.
The website (http://cambodiantr.gov.kh/) provides public access to all necessary trade information, including registration for importers and exporters, lists of prohibited and restricted goods, customs permits and duties, as well as ASEAN-specific trade regulations. The website was unveiled ahead of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will be launched at the end of this month and will eventually create a regional free trade zone comprising 600 million people.
The minister described the 2009 ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement as “a vital mechanism to ease trade” and make the process faster. The agreement laid the foundation for the AEC.
“Cambodia has been preparing to be integrated into the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year and we will begin to see the free flow of goods, services, skilled workers, and investment across the region,” Mr. Pornmoniroth said. He said the blueprint for the 2007 AEC has been driving Cambodia towards liberalizing trade.
The European Union, Danish International Development Agency, The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the World Bank provided technical assistance to create the website, Mr. Pornmoniroth said.
Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation and Managing Director of Mekong Oryza Trading Co. Ltd, welcomed the new website, saying it would make importing and exporting more transparent.
Mr. Lak said the website was similar to those created by other governments in ASEAN and that it would supply authoritative data on trade regulations as well as opportunities in Cambodia and the region.
“The whole ASEAN region and market is becoming liberal, transparent and open,” he said. This website will help Cambodian producers strengthen product quality to meet competition in the region, he said, adding that if businesses must make a greater effort to be competitive regionally.