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Competition committee law makes inroads

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Cambodia's Ministry of Commerce. Heng Chivoan

Competition committee law makes inroads

Private sector actors and experts have welcomed the promulgation of the new competition law, to create a fair-playing field and attract more investment.

The Law on Competition was endorsed by the King for immediate promulgation on October 5 after the Senate reviewed and approved in on September 20.

Composed of seven chapters and 41 articles, the law is aimed at shaping fair business practices; promoting economic efficiency and shoring up new businesses; protecting the national economy from harmful anti-competitive behaviours; and assisting customers in procuring a broader range of diverse, high-quality goods and services at lower prices.

Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Mao Thora told The Post on October 13 that he had a hand in the already-drafted sub-decree on the functional role of the law and the establishment, composition and duties of the associated committee.

“Our minister will review the sub-decree of the law and then put it to the Council of Ministers for approval. The law is very important to build trust among both local and foreign investors and businesspeople – so it creates a fair-playing field,” he said.

“Once we have the law, I think our local investors will also happy to expand their investments too, as they’ll feel more confidence.”

Anthony Galliano, group CEO of financial services firm Cambodian Investment Management Co Ltd, said Cambodia has been committed to the development of a competition law since 2006, especially as the other nine ASEAN countries would enact similar laws before the Kingdom did.

He said the Kingdom was motivated to fulfil its commitments to the ASEAN Competition Action Plan, and as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Now that the King has approved the promulgation of the law, Cambodia can now get to work on execution, he added.

“The law establishes provisions and procedures applicable to unlawful practices of restraint of competition and promotes and protects the benefits of the competitive market economy of Cambodia, particularly prohibiting Horizontal Agreements, Vertical Agreement, and Abuse of a Dominant Position.

“It is a further monumental step in the development of a market economy system in the Kingdom, and will help boost competition on production, productivity, trade and services. It should also improve the international perception of ‘ease of doing business’ in the Kingdom,” Galliano said.

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