ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Finding a path for future growth
EuroCham, Cambodia’s largest foreign chamber of commerce, is under new stewardship. The Post’s Kali Kotoski sat down recently with incoming chairman Arnaud Darc to discuss his vision for business association and get his take on the Kingdom’s business climate.
As the newly elected chairman of EuroCham, what initiatives do you hope to achieve?
EuroCham is heavily funded by the European Union and we have funds of $3 million over a period of five years. So we have three years left of this funding and we have a clear objective to increase the development of European companies in Cambodia, and also to promote Cambodia to Europe and the region. Also, my mission is to make sure that EuroCham is fully self sustainable and can continue its objective. Basically, what I want to see is that Eurocham can stand on its own two feet and that it can represent its members with one voice to the government.
What is the overall attitude for the investment climate in Cambodia right now?
When I talk to traditional donor countries, I believe they think that Cambodia still has a high capacity to get funding for infrastructure development. So the government needs to create a precise development plan and get funds into the country. The government needs to debate politically the future of Cambodia, not like the atmosphere of character politics we have right now. We need to see real public discussions about the future of development to increase investor confidence.
Earlier this year, EuroCham issued a White Book of policy recommendations to the government. How well have those recommendations been received?
This was one of our biggest publications and it was very well received by the government, and we’ve had many follow up meetings, primarily with the General Department of Taxation and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. They are still very interested in what we have to say. We are also going to meet the customs department soon. The working groups, especially for tourism, are continuing discussions. We will report our findings from the meetings and feedback to our members, and it will be very transparent. As you can imagine, they didn’t accept all of our recommendations, but we didn’t expect them to. Nevertheless, we are very happy with the ongoing discussions.
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Indonesia to launch 13th economic package this month
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said on Wednesday that the government would release its 13th economic policy package in August, adding that the draft had been completed.
Darmin said the 13th package was largely an extension of the previous one, but would expand its focus beyond industry. The 12th package focused on small and medium enterprises.
"We are just waiting to schedule a meeting with the president," Darmin told reporters at his office. He refused to give the exact date the new policy package would come into effect.
The ministry team must meet with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo one more time to finalize the details, Darmin said.