E-Commerce Law Goes Ahead With WB Funding

A draft law on e-commerce that would regulate electronic trade in Cambodia will arrive at the Council of Ministers in August, following revision by two other state institutions, officials at the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday.

Orm Dararith, director of the Ministry of Commerce’s legal department, said that the draft, which has 12 chapters comprising 81 Articles, is awaiting comment at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication and the National Bank of Cambodia.

“We have to send it to two main relevant institutions,” he said, explaining that feedback is expected from both institutions in July.

Mr. Dararith said that the law would bolster trading activities via electronic networks in local and international markets.

“We will be able to expand the scope of goods trading through this electronic system,” he said. “We can also make the foreign buyers more aware of our local products and increase buying order.”

Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines are the only members of Asean to not have an e-commerce law, although each country entered into an agreement to pass a law by 2008.

In Channy, president and CEO of Acleda, said the law would reduce time in processing documents in the banking sector and other business operations in the country.

“It will help us to quickly access business information and registration,” he said. “E-commerce is very quick for the banks, if they need to add more capital investment or adjust some conditions.”

Lim Bunheng, chairman of Loran Import-Export and Cambodian Rice Exporter Association welcomed the long-awaited law because it would help reduce transportation costs and increase rice exports from the country.

“When our cost is reduced, we will be able to drive up our export,” he said.

Ken Rotha, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said the ministry is also drafting a law on consumer protection and competition scheduled to be completed next month. He confirmed the World Bank had provided $120,000 to draft the e-commerce law.

The Bank suspended funds in 2011 over the government’s handling of land evictions in Phnom Penh, but continued “small projects” said Mr. Dararith.

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