The National Assembly on Wednesday passed a provision that pushes for the improvement of the quality of domestic products as part of the new Law on Quality of Goods and Services.
Several National Assembly members warned that Cambodia’s opportunity for competitiveness in the global market will be reduced if the quality of domestic products is not improved. The article states a desire for creating better markets for locally-produced goods, but does not mandate specific actions.
While some lawmakers said tariffs should be raised on certain goods being imported, Finance Minister Keat Chhon has warned that tariffs on a few goods will be lowered as soon as January—the beginning of a process that will take years as Cambodia attempts to comply with Asean free-trade standards.
Nhim Vanda, a leading CPP lawmaker, said Wednesday that the government must encourage the production of local goods and improve agricultural yields.
He said agricultural production is still weak compared to neighboring countries. He blamed low domestic production on the growing number of foreign goods coming into Cambodia. “Our market has been so flooded with things imported from neighboring countries,” he said.
He noted Cambodian farmers find it difficult to export or sell rice, soybeans and even vegetables in local markets because of the influx of foreign products.
Sith Ybrahim, a member of the Sam Rainsy Party, said to put more value on local products, the government has to limit certain types of imported goods which are abundant in Cambodia.
Sith Ybrahim said Cambodia has the potential to produce many kinds of products for local and regional trade, and he called for investment in these areas.
Among the potential products Cambodia could produce is sugar he said. “The Khmer sugar market is not good so this is one of the industries that need to be improved,” Sith Ybrahim said.