The National Assembly yesterday passed a trade remedy law that aims to protect and help local and foreign businesses by introducing anti-dumping measures that prevent the “dishonest” import of goods and produce from neighbouring countries, according to a press release.
Lawmakers said they approved the trade remedy law in order to protect local production by restricting the flow of foreign goods that enter the market and are sold at below market value, undercutting the growth of domestic production.
The legislation is intended to boost confidence for both domestic and international investors through mechanisms and procedures that ensure fair market competition.
The law allows the government to increase taxes on goods that are “dumped” into the market up to levels set by the World Trade Organisation, the National Assembly added in a press release.
Ngoun Meng Tech, director-general of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said the passage of the law was a good sign that the government wanted to promote the growth of Cambodian companies. However, he said the effectiveness of the law still hinged on the government’s ability to implement it.
“Approving the law is good and will provide for fair competition in the market,” he said. “However, we need to see action towards enforcement.”
Tech noted that Cambodian businesses across numerous sectors continue to suffer from informal import channels of cheap products that are not subject to the proper taxation“If enforcement works based on the law, I believe it could attract a lot of investors to Cambodia,” he added.
Te Taing Por, president of the Federation of Association for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises of Cambodia, said the law should help alleviate the struggles that small businesses face as they are the ones most affected by unfair competition. He added that imports, especially for rice, pork and vegetables, are routinely below standards or passed expiration dates.
“Our small firms struggle and suffer from a flood of imported products,” he said. “Now should be the time we have fair competition and the relevant ministries and CamControl should work on doing their jobs.”