Cambodia: Cross-border paperless trade
Cambodia is looking to implement cross-border paperless trade once the country’s e-commerce law is fully adopted and implemented, the Commerce Ministry said.
During a workshop jointly organized by the ministry and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (UNESCAP), the ministry’s under-secretary of state Sok Sopheak said that implementing the framework for cross-border paperless trade will have long-term benefits for both Cambodia and the region.
“Cross-border transactions, at the moment, have to go through cumbersome procedures which places a heavy burden on exporters and importers. Therefore, in order to reduce this burden, the government has simplified customs and other border procedures for international trade and reduced transaction costs through the application of trade facilitation measures,” said Mr. Sopheak.
“The framework agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific is initiated by UNESCAP. It will result in long-term benefits for the region by promoting cross-border paperless trade to make international trade more efficient and transparent while also improving regulatory compliance,” he added
According to Mr. Sopheak, the Commerce Minister has also begun engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure that the framework can be implemented soon after the e-commerce law comes into effect.
“Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, has expressed a strong commitment to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement and has already requested technical assistance from various development partners to make sure Cambodia becomes compliant to the agreement,” he said.
“The minister indicated that the top priority is the establishment of the Single Window, addressing soft issues and infrastructure. The second priority is regional trade facilitation with the establishment of the one-stop border posts.”
Commerce Ministry spokesperson Soeng Sophary echoed Mr. Sopheak’s statement but emphasized that the ministry was still prioritizing the e-commerce law ahead of the cross-border paperless trade framework.
“When the e-commerce law is enacted, implementation will be more precise. Even though there is online trade or transactions, we have no e-commerce law to protect and manage online trade. We will try to complete the law to facilitate not only online trade but cross-border paperless trade,” she said.
“The e-commerce law can be done this year but we cannot guarantee it because we want the law to be precise, implementable and effective. We don’t want the law to be amended twice or thrice after it is enacted,” added Ms. Sophary.
According to UNESCAP research, region-wide implementation of cross border paperless trade in Asia and the Pacific could lead to export gains of $257 billion annually.
Even partial implementation of cross-border paperless trade measures could lead to an export increase of $36 billion annually. The time required to export could also decrease by as much as 44 percent which can result in cost reductions of up to 31 percent.