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PM says film industry to be tax-free until 2023

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A film crew shoots a movie scene on location earlier this year. A film school is slated for Phnom Penh and a production studio is earmarked for Kampong Speu, both to open early next year. Eli Meixler

PM says film industry to be tax-free until 2023

Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday that the government will not tax the Cambodian film industry until at least 2023, and even until 2028 should he be elected the Kingdom’s next leader.

Speaking at an event attended by 4,000 people to celebrate National Cultural Day on Koh Pich, he said: “The government had decided to allow local film companies not to pay tax for three years, until 2018.

“But to further support the film industry, the government has decided to allow it not to pay tax for a further five years, until the end of 2023,” he said.

He said he would continue to meet directors and film stars every year as prime minister and would serve in the capacity for not less than another 10 years, during which time he will continue to support the film industry for a further decade without the interruption of any “poisonous beast”.

Hun Sen encouraged filmmakers to make Cambodian films more interesting, not only for home audiences but with an eye on the international market.

He also urged the film industry not to copy foreign products, while the relevant ministries should encourage innovation from the younger generation of filmmakers.

While the film industry was allowed to remain tax-free, he told Siem Reap’s Phare Ponleu Selpak circus, a local NGO, to register and fulfil tax obligations like any other company.

Hun Sen also reminded all TV stations that they must air Cambodian movies from 7pm to 9pm. Only after that can they air foreign films.

He said National Cultural Day celebrations should not be held on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday as it would affect the local TV stations’ music programmes.

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