Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at The 19th Government-Private Sector Forum [Unofficial and translations]


[…] At the 7th legislature first Cabinet plenary meeting, I outlined the first phase of the Pentagonal Strategy […] with two main historical missions. Firstly, maintain and foster the hard-won peace, with priceless dedication and the driving force of economic growth and overall development, and secondly, build and consolidate the foundation to further national development. Thus, moving through the milestones of transforming to a high-middle-income country by 2030, and achieving Cambodia’s vision (of high-income country) by 2050 by building resilience in five sectors – public, economic, financial, human and social capital, and environment responding to the climate change. The (1) first phase of the pentagonal strategy is defined by the mottos of employment, growth, equity, efficiency and sustainability, as well as five key priorities for the first phase – people, roads, water, electricity and technology […] the Royal Government has issued also six priority policies and implemented five key rules for addressing its priorities […]

I have mentioned in many public forums and in meeting with the private sector as well as private sector leaders. (2) I would like to see the private sector play an active role in engaging with the government to help promote compliance. This means that the private sector also acts as a police force. The Royal Government does not need or does not want to play the role alone, […] promoting compliance means enhancing collective responsibility. If the private sector plays a more active and effective role in managing and promoting compliance in the private sector, the state will be relieved to a certain extent and the state institutions will be acting from behind […]

(Regarding the need to promote the transparency of research, investigation and crackdown on counterfeit products, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior,) His Excellency Sar Sokha (who is also) here present today, (3) will try to respond quickly and do what he can to promote the reorganization, especially the implementation mechanism, because many of the challenges raised here are not only for inspection but also implementation related. That would require us to adjust the procedures, standards, how to make it easy for practitioners to understand. Sometimes the practitioner does not fully understand some procedures, meaning that there is still space (of misunderstanding and misinterpretation). Let us try to make sure that it is clear and that there is publicity and even those who take part in the implementation understand each other and the job to do […]

(On the effort to realize business registration at information technology platform within the framework of the exchange of common data of the Royal Government through CamDX before the end of 2024,) (4) I would like to emphasize that the additional pentagon in the Pentagonal Strategy of the 7th legislative term, is the digital or information technology system, which not only develops and attracts investment to produce materials, but also uses this system to increase efficiency and convenience for the people and will reduce the cost of time and certain irregularities. We have to make sure we can promote this work and ensure competition, while facilitating other works related […] The other day at the inauguration of the Ministry of Interior (office building g), I made it clear that the (5) increasing use of technology is not for the sake of bringing jobs to the center. We need to decentralize or transfer of power to the grassroots. The effort should be helping to bring solution for the private sector at the provincial and district levels […] I will continue to do this work and push for it to be achieved […]

(In relation to efforts of the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation to finalize the preparation of new regulations to facilitate the provision of public services,) […] the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI) (6) will sacrifice some revenue. We are not afraid to give up state revenue if it will facilitate and support the private sector to grow […] another point is the improvement of transparency and efficiency in private sector regulation. The private sector has brought up this issue of too many legal standards, some of which are overlapping and not yet comprehensive. Nak Oknha Kith Meng also raised the issue of overlapping responsibility […] this task is an important priority for the Royal Government as it works to facilitate, sharpen and lighten the mechanism to implement to ensure efficiency […] legislative standards formulation in some places has not been consulted with the private sector, and implementation has always been immediate, without widespread publicity and/or insufficient time for the private sector to adapt and prepare their business plan in a timely manner […]

(As for the issue of cancellation of taxes and other fees,) since we have here the provincial governors with us, please continue to watch this implementation. In the past, there were some shortcomings. The day before, in Phnom Penh, there were people who collected taxes from the vendors who sold their goods (in baskets in the streets/markets). I took immediate action. (7) I would like to reaffirm the principle that there are no taxes or fees imposed on people who sell things in baskets in the markets across the country. Please implement and monitor the implementation clearly. If there is such shortcomings, you have to correct it immediately […]

(With regard to unused land tax, anyone with)five hectares of land worries no more about unused land tax […] (8) (we are determined that for a size limit of) five hectares, it is no longer considered unused land. There would not be many who can afford to buy more than 5 hectares and leave it unused […] and for land that exceeds five hectares, we have some favorable conditions to offer too. The goal of this tax is to make sure people do not buy land and leave them unproductive […] they buy land and create economic activity so that income will come to the province and national economy […] (the RGC will) (9) leave a period of 13 months as a transition for those who have more than five hectares of land to convert (it to economic activities) […] If they have more than five hectares, it is in their interest to prepare an investment plan, and turn it into used land […] we leave time for this work until the end of 2024, and early 2025 to prepare a plan to use land […]

(Relating to facilitating and expanding the scope of preferential tariffs in agriculture,) I think, on issue of rubber sub-sector […] in the report, Nak Oknha Kith Meng was talking about domestic market integration. We did have a gap. We need to work on it. The overseas market is large, (10) indeed but we must ensure market integration. We can think of supply of crops between agriculture and tourism. We must work out solution for tourism, where we (can export to hotels) rather than to outside the country […] no need to produce vegetables to export anywhere but to the nearby tourist area […] (or we say it is) connecting the local production line […]

(On promoting transportation and infrastructure,) I would give permission in principle to increase the weight level transported by trucks from 40 tons to 45 tons. In order to carry out this work as soon as possible, I would entrust the Ministry of Public Works and Transport with the task of (11) amending the laws and regulations related to the comprehensive technical study to determine the types of vehicles that can be used for this level of installation. Along with encouraging and helping to reduce shipping costs, we also need to think about infrastructure […] to reduce in overweight transportation […]

(With respect to reorganizing and launching the tourism council,) (12) the Council should not only be a mechanism in the meeting, in the debate, but this it must be an implementation one, a mechanism that not only thinks and sets out a comprehensive plan (but also) knocks on the right doors – domestic and international […] we are making it a pilot project. The preparation of this mechanism requires a lot of participation from the private sector. The national budget resources are limited. The private sector budget resources are also limited. But together we can do it. We have less money, but we must be spending it on target […] the Government helps provide various loans […] and set up proactive and practical mechanism based on reality, not theory. It is not necessary to go into it only when we have a nationwide plan package for the country. Let us make the mechanism work in Siem Reap in 2024 […]

(As Cambodia Small and Medium Enterprise Bank will organize a direct loan program with an initial amount of US $ 50 million to tour operators in Siem Reap,) (13) though the amount is not much, but it is not less either. The important thing is the return on investment […] hope to be a driving force to help […] for the beneficiary is to the national economy, the people in the informal economy, tricycle association, vegetable sellers and handicraft markets […] it is important to make each tourist stay longer […] we have temples, we have the Tonle Sap Lake, but we must think of anything else that we can arrange […] for tourism to stay more than one day or one and a half days, […] I have received information that after the Covid-19, tourists seem to have stay longer than before […]

(As for the mechanisms that give foreigners the right to purchase and occupy real estate that have almost the same rights as the owner,) (14) instead of (providing permanent residence that we would have to make) amendments to the Constitution (let us think of it from the point of view of providing a) long-term right for 50 years and has the right to renew for another 50 years instead. It would be like giving him/her a long-term stability without us having to amend our constitution […]

Regarding the mechanism of the lease, we will have detailed rules regarding the location, where it applies in the long run […] so that (15) we can determine (what to expect) because we do not do it throughout the country. We will have a demarcation, where and how far it is from the border, or whatever. We will do this to address some of the concerns of the people, regarding the question of arranging measures […]

(We hold the RGC-Private Sector forum at least twice in each government term, one at the beginning of term and another in the middle of term,) […] in the meantime, we also need to be flexible. (16) If necessary, we can arrange a meeting on that particular issue. In addition to the forum mechanism, the Royal Government meets the private sector, even though the year that we were not able to organize the meeting, we have 15 working groups that continue to meet regularly to identify the problem and find a solution […] sometimes what we think in principle has encountered with challenges when we put it into implementation. Whatever the team can solve, they do it immediately. Whatever principles from above are needed, there is no need for another two-year forum […]./.