WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATED

Updated: 27 April-03 May,2019

TRADE & COMMERCE | Cambodia To Join World Economic Forum Digital Growth Project

The World Economic Forum has requested Cambodia’s participation in an Asean-wide programme to promote digital development and electronic payments. During a meeting Tuesday with Pan Sorasak, the Minister of Commerce, Justin Wood, WEF’s director for Asia-Pacific and executive committee member, said the Kingdom’s collaboration is needed to successfully implement the programme. “The Digital Asean and E-payment programme, initiated by the World Economic Forum, needs Cambodia’s participation as it can provide important input,” he was quoted as saying in a ministry statement published yesterday. During the meeting, Minister Sorasak stressed the important role technology plays in facilitating trade and business in Industry 4.0. (May 02, 2019 | Khmer Times)

TRADE & COMMERCE | Rubber Production Up 32 Percent

Rubber production increased by 32 percent in the first quarter of the year, with most of it shipped abroad, according to the latest official report. From January to March, Cambodia produced 48,778 tonnes of rubber, an increase of 11,753 tonnes compared to the same quarter in 2018. The rubber was harvested in 201,519 hectares of land, with total rubber tree plantations in the Kingdom equalling 436,357 hectares, the report shows. Most of the production (48,192 tonnes) was exported, an increase of 23 percent. sHowever, the average price the commodity fetches declined by 12 percent, reaching just $1,279 per tonne. (April 30, 2019 | Khmer Times)

TRADE & COMMERCE | Ministry: Cambodia Now Able To Directly Export Yellow Bananas To China

Cambodia can now directly export yellow bananas to China, without relying on Vietnam as an intermediary, a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announcement said. The General Directorate of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Monday announced that to send bananas directly to the Chinese market, exporters must comply with certain requirements. These include proper packaging in English and Chinese languages with clear labelling of the export company’s name, product name, farm registration code and packaging plant registration code. Exports must also have a sanitary and phytosanitary certificate. (April 30, 2019 | Phnom Penh Post)

TOURISM | Siem Reap Named Top Tourist Destination In Southeast Asia

Siem Reap was named the top tourist destination in Southeast Asia by Germany-based online travel platform YouDiscover. The Cambodian city was followed by Bangkok and Singapore, who came in second and third respectively. Published earlier this month, the list includes 15 destinations in 11 countries and ranks them based on three criteria – accommodation options, trips and “experiences”. Siem Reap came on top owing to the presence of the Unesco-listed Angkor Archaeological Complex. Phnom Penh came in at number fourth while Battambang took the 13th spot in the list. Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the National Tourism Alliance, welcomed the news but remarked that Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat already tops many of the world’s lists for best tourism spots. Nonetheless, he said that “this recognition will help increase Siem Reap’s popularity widely and will attract more international tourists to the city”. (May 01 , 2019 | Khmer Times)

FINANCE AND BANKING | Employees’ Seniority Pay To Be Tax-Free: GDT

The General Department of Taxation (GDT) on Thursday said back payments of seniority indemnity for Cambodian employees are tax exempt, while employers can also deduct the payments from their income taxes. The GDT’s instruction circular, signed by Cambodian Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth on April 11 and released on Thursday, also says that services in relation to recruiting, training, transporting and managing workers overseas by private agencies are exempt from value-added tax. Ros Sokhom, managing director of auditing firm Rosoco Limited, on Thursday said the ministry’s circular clarifies conditions for employees who are set to receive the payment, as well as employers who will be paying, establishing that they are free from tax obligations.  (May 03, 2019 | Phnom Penh Post)

FINANCE AND BANKING | NBC Clarifies Chinese Cash Not To Be Used

A National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) official on Sunday clarified that a recently signed agreement over transactions in the Chinese currency the yuan only applies to banking and financial institutions, not daily transactions with individuals. The explanation came after a series of reports regarding the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Bank of China and the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism. The MoU intended to facilitate the establishment of electronic payment systems such as Union Pay, WeChat Pay and Alipay in the Kingdom’s hotels, restaurants and travel agencies. Reports of the MoU on some websites contributed to the mistaken belief that the ministry was allowing the use of the yuan to pay for daily goods in Cambodia in the same way as the US dollar, said an official speaking on behalf of NBC director-general Chea Serey. (April 29 , 2019 | Phnom Penh Post)

AGRICULTURE | Agricultural Yields, Quality Must Increase: Minister

The Minister of Agriculture on Tuesday stressed the need to boost local agricultural production and increase quality. Speaking at the 20th-anniversary celebration of Heifer International Cambodia, Minister Veng Sakhon said local production of vegetables and meat has increased in recent years but lamented that the quality is still deficient. Mr Sakhon urged vegetable and meat producers to up quality standards so that more Cambodian goods can be shipped and consumed overseas. The minister said the government aims to have more Cambodia goods sold in international markets, particularly vegetables, fruits, and meat. (May 02, 2019 | Khmer Times)

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION| Realestate.Com.Kh’s Home & Lifestyle Expo Draws Over 20,000

Over 20,000 people descended upon Koh Pich over the weekend, many of them putting down big money for condos, borey homes, land or cars at Realestate.com.kh’s massive Home & Lifestyle Expo 2019. The company’s CEO claimed it was their most successful event to date. Taking place at Koh Pich Exhibition Centre on April 26 and 27, the event hosted exhibitors from every section of the property market. Borey developers were there, as were condo developers, plot land dealers, agencies, lawyers, banks, construction firms and architects. There was also lifestyle luxury brands there selling cars, watches, handbags, furniture and much more. Many were offering their biggest discounts of the year. The event didn’t disappoint, either. Many exhibitors were able to connect with quality buyers and book sales that will smash their yearly sales quotas. (May 01, 2019| Khmer Times)

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION| Siem Reap’s Wildlife Sanctuary, Aquarium To Break Ground In May

Construction of the ambitious Wildlife Park and Aquarium in Siem Reap is due to begin next month, investors announced during an event Monday. The project – funded by a consortium of investors from Cambodia, Japan, and the United States – has been hailed as the first step in building Siem Reap into a world-class destination for tourists seeking to experience exotic wildlife. Speaking during a pre-groundbreaking event held at the residence of the US Ambassador in Phnom Penh, investors, which include US-based Concept Management Inc (ICM), revealed that $70 million will be funneled into the project. ICM specialises in designing and operating aquariums and marine parks worldwide, according to a press release issued during the event. (May 01, 2019| Khmer Times)

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