The European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia has given almost 50 policy recommendations to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), during a meeting between EuroCham Chairman Tassilo Brinzer and MEF Secretary-of-State Dr. Phan Phalla.
The chamber was requested to submit recommendations on behalf of the private sector, to assist in the development of policies that would jumpstart Cambodia’s economic recovery after the COVID 19 pandemic to “build back better”.
According to the chamber, the policy recommendations were a are a mix of short-term ‘quick wins’, which are easily implementable policy measures, and of middle-and long-term measures. While some recommendations are aimed at safeguarding companies’ cash flow, others seek to improve the ease of doing business in selected sectors or to boost the larger economy.
The exact number and list of policy recommendations were not been made public.
EuroCham stated a thread throughout the recommendations was catalyzing the development of Cambodia’s Industry 4.0 and stimulating a green and sustainable economy, while safeguarding the government’s tax revenue.
Adding, “EuroCham is confident that, for example, Cambodia could pioneer by speeding up the launch of 5G and thus increase its attraction as a modern investment destination for new technologies”.
EuroCham further recommended that the government could, “focus more on stimulating the ‘green economy’, such as through granting priority for permit approval for building projects that have a green building certification, adapting the current regulations to rooftop solar power and adopting incentive schemes with new energy efficiency and green building standards”.
On the logistics part, “EuroCham amongst others identified a clear need to simplify the customs clearance procedure for low-value dutiable goods in accordance with the WCO’s Immediate Release Guideline and to simplify digital payment of import tax”.
One of it more controversial recommendation was the request to further delay the implementation of the Capital Gains Tax for an additional year, so the tax would come into effect earliest 2023. They citied, “This measure aims to help to continue to attract investments, in particular in the real estate- and construction sector”.
The chamber also submitted proposals to revise taxes in the airline industry stating, “EuroCham believes more airlines could be attracted to expand their flight routes into Cambodia, ensuring greater connectivity of the country.
They added, “Our extensive tourism and travel recommendations range from practical recommendations on how to urgently address the travel- and entry requirements to Cambodia to a wide array of suggested support measures for the sector”.