Formulation of Trade Capacity Programme in Cambodia

The Project at A Glance

Since its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Cambodia has demonstrated a strong commitment to undertaking major economic reforms in order to secure growth as an engine for pro-poor development. Moreover, the country is highly integrated into the global economy and was the third most open economy in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), recording trade at 142% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015.
International Economics assisted the Delegation of the European Union to Cambodia in the identification and formulation of a trade-related assistance programme for Cambodia, which would strengthen the capacity of the country in advancing its national and regional trade programmes while also enhancing trade facilitation and logistics policies and plans.
The project aimed to assist in the design of the Cambodia National component of the ASEAN Connectivity Focal Sector, within the context of the Asian Regional Indicative Programme (2014-2020), as well as supporting the SME internationalisation process through improved inclusiveness of SMEs in the formulation and adoption of policies linked to trade.

What We Found

Over the years, Cambodia has achieved tremendous progress in diminishing the transaction costs linked to trade. The country has equally implemented several measures to ensure greater transparency and has adopted a number of regulations to increase the predictability of trade. Nonetheless, there is still significant room for improvement. There is also an increased urgency to maintain the current momentum or accelerate reforms, in light of risks such as preference erosion and a slowdown in the world economy. Other important challenges that need to be adopted include, among others:

  • The simplification of import, export, transit procedures and processes to decrease clearance costs and time;
  • The complete automation of border procedures covering all border agencies related Licenses, certificates, permits and approvals;
  • The improvement of Risk Assessment and Management procedures and processes
  • The implementation of official fees and elimination of unofficial payments;
  • The adoption of customs practices that reflects fully WTO Customs Valuation requirements;
  • Increased transparency of customs tariffs and other trade regulations by providing them online and free (National Trade Repository)

Our Strategy and Impact

In order for Cambodia to retain its current momentum in undertaking reforms, it is essential to improve the capacity of the ministry of commerce and strengthen the line ministries’ understanding and implementation of the commitments that Cambodia makes internationally. The in-house research capacity, application of regulatory impact assessments, arbitration procedures, and trade dispute remedies, remain in their infancy.
Moreover, further efforts must be undertaken to involve the private sector. This could include the setting up of meso-institutions and improving the private sector’s readiness for participating in new trade opportunities. SMEs can also be further supported by facilitating access to export markets.

Our Core Solutions

At International Economics Consulting, we build tailor-made strategies for both import and export-oriented business solutions. We carry out sensitivity analysis and prepare detailed resource scheduling and standard performance dashboards to track the implementation process and financial ratio performance of your products and services. We help investors assess the opportunities in different markets, determine the feasibility and viability of projects, and benchmark the wider ecosystem to support business growth. We also assist clients in building economic indicators to analyse the trade flows and identify patterns, trends, and trade complementarity in value chains of goods and services between member countries.

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Project Areas