Minister Returns From US With Trade Tips

Ministry of Commerce Secre­tary of State Sok Siphana re­turned from the US Tuesday with de­tails on a pilot program de­signed to coordinate national policies to improve trade.

Foreign consultants working with Cambodian commerce officials spent last month compiling a study of how a variety of national policies helped or hindered Cam­bodia’s strength as a trading partner, Sok Siphana said.

The goal is for ministries to work together so that every policy—all the way down to social spending and small-road building—is reviewed for its trade value, he said.

In the long run, improving trade is the best strategy for re­ducing poverty in Cambodia, he said.

A draft report is scheduled to be circulated among companies, NGOs and academics starting next month.

The pilot program was sponsored by the World Bank and is being overseen by other major bodies, including the Inter­na­tional Monetary Fund. It is also bei­ng implemented in Madagas­car and Mauritania.

Of those three countries, Cam­bodia was chosen by the IMF to pre­sent its results to the next group of pilot countries because it showed the most initiative during the study, Sok Siphana said.


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