Weekly news round up 2016 / Week 9

Political (Cambodia-Specific)

The government is considering appointing Wing (Cambodia) Limited, a specialised bank and mobile payment company, as a designated agent to collect tax revenues, the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced yesterday.
The proposed tax collection arrangement follows a Ministry of Commerce request late last month aimed at facilitating tax payments. Since June 2012 the General Department of Taxation has been outsourcing some of its tax collection services to Canadia Bank and accepted Acleda Bank as a designated representative to accept tax payments in May 2014.

Europe, European Businesses and EuroCham Members 

A recently approved $15 million loan from the French Development Agency will be managed by the ADB and partly used to upgrade nine provincial training centers, including workshops, dormitories and equipment, in support of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) initiatives in Cambodia. The new funds would allow an additional 34,000 trainees to enroll in short courses and certification programs over a five-year period.

Cambodia exported about 1 million bicycles to the E.U. in the first eight months of 2015, a 16 percent increase on the previous year, maintaining its place as the second-largest exporter to the bloc behind Taiwan.
The increase comes despite a a 48.5 percent anti-dumping duty on Cambodian bicycle imports with ties to China made by the European Commission in May 2015 over concerns that Cambodia is being used by Chinese bicycle makers to avoid an anti-dumping duty. The three largest Cambodian bike makers, A&J, Smart Tech and Speed tech Industrial, are exempted from the duty.

Infrastructure, Development and Core Industries

A Post Property article picks up on CBRE’s Cambodia Property Report Q4 2015 and anticipates that demand for Grade A office space is likely to increase with the arrival of multinational companies into Phnom Penh and confident domestic businesses seeking to enhance their professional image.
According to the report, Grade A office space currently accounts for 15% of total leasable space and rents at $28 per square meter.
Besides the capital’s more prominent landmark buildings (Vattanac Tower, Canadia Tower, Phnom Penh Tower), a number of developers are considering entering the premium office space sector. Local developer Urbanland,  in the wake of its two residential projects, Embassy Residences and Embassy Central, recently confirmed rumours of its first venture into the commercial office market which will be to Grade A standards and situated near the upcoming Exchange Square by Hongkong Land. Exchange Square will be a mixed-use development comprising 18,000 square metres of leasable office space, in addition to 8,000 square metres of prime retail. 

A government official has commented on Cambodia’s efforts to introduce national standards for manufactured goods and food products in order to create opportunities for local products within ASEAN Economic Community.
Chheng Uddara commented that “After the creation of the AEC there is a free market, which means that there are no longer tariff barriers, but instead standard requirements for products …so in order to export our products, we need documented evidence that our products meet standards of quality and safety.”
Whereas an average of 5 standards were developed each year between 2000 and 2013, prior to the AEC launch date almost 350 new standards were adopted in 2014 and 237 in 2015.
Despite the opportunities for regional sales that these standards enable, the private sector expresses some concern over the administrative burden of obtaining the required documentation.

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