On 21 March 2013, H.E CHEA Vuthy, Deputy Secretary General of Cambodian Investment Boad and Cambodian Special Economic Zone Board of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), attended a forum on ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) held in Kualalumpur, Malaysia. The forum aimed at introducing ACIA, which is the most fundamental international instrument for investment among ASEAN Member States, to the participants from both public and private sectors in ASEAN. The program was sponsored by Australian AID under ASEAN-Australian Development Cooperation Program and co-organized by Malaysian Investment and Development Agency and ASEAN Secretariat. ACIA was enacted on 26 February 2009 and came into force on 29 March 2012.
Speaking on behalf H.E SOK Chenda Sophea, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the CDC, H.E. CHEA Vuthy emphasized that ACIA is beneficial of all ASEAN Member States (AMS); however, all AMS must work together to improve investment climate to attract more FDIs to the region.
He reported to the forum that Cambodia had made economic development over the past decade and that such achievements were involved with high levels of private sector-driven growth, especially sectors in the garment, tourism and construction. He further mentioned that ACIA would help Cambodia in many ways to improve her investment climate, and that Cambodia committed to work with other ASEAN Member States to realize the vision 2015 of Economic Community with the free flow of investment and capital. Meanwhile, H.E CHEA Vuthy emphasized that he strongly believed in regionalism and integration that would enable the expansion of opportunities in terms of increasing economic activities and market space thereby help transform society and human resource development.
In light of ACIA implementation, Cambodia has been consistently putting tremendous effort on investment promotion and facilitation over the years. In this effort, CDC has been working so hard to enhance investment related-services and improve transparency. In 2005, Cambodia has established the Cambodian Special Economic Zones Board to promote the special economic zone scheme in Cambodia. With this establishment, Special Economic Zone Administration is playing a very important role in providing one-stop service to zone investors from registration of investment project to routine export-import approval. Reception Desk at the Council for the Development of Cambodia has been established as “One Stop Service” to assist and facilitate investors through disseminating investment information such as investment guidebook, development of website. On 28th December 2012, a joint Prakas (declaration) on public services delivered by the Council for the Development of Cambodia has been issued. A “Complaints Desk” has also been established to receive all complaints, especially complaints related to practices not in compliance with standard services, over charge fee, or unjustified delay in documents processing.
With regard to the investment guarantees and protection, both Cambodian and foreign investors who undertakes Qualified Investment Projects (QIPs) enjoy a wide range of guarantees that include: equal treatment, except for land ownership, no nationalization adversely affecting investors’ properties, no price control on investors’ products or services and free remittance of foreign currencies abroad. Such guarantees are practical and unique in the region.