Corruption biggest issue for US investors in Cambodia

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corruptionA survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the US Chamber of Commerce showed that “endemic corruption” it the biggest issue for US companies and investors in Cambodia.

The 2013-14 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey asked 475 senior US business executives in ASEAN on benefits and obstacles of doing business in Cambodia. On the upside, they named low-cost labour, personal security and a positive attitude toward the US. Negative perceptions were a shortage of skilled workers, unfavorable laws and regulations and underdeveloped infrastructure. But the major worry for US investors was corruption, with 81 per cent of respondents raising the concern.

“There are two groups of in­vestors turned off by Cambodia, those who cannot afford to pay bribes and those who do not know how to think within a corrupt environment,” said Preap Kol, executive director of corruption watchdog Transparency International.

However, other investors are unconcerned. China, the top investor in Cambodia, pays more bribes to other governments than any other nation.

Kol said the government needs to create new laws and regulations to promote a level playing field among all businesses.

Ministry of Commerce Secretary of State Mao Thora said the government does have plans to address Cambodia’s corruption issue.

“We have an entire corruption law by the Anti-Corruption Unit that already exists, but the Ministry of Commerce has prepared a plan to better implement that law to fight corruption in business and encourage more foreign investors.”

He added that this will include putting investment policies online for foreign companies to study, which will better explain what documents are required and the costs involved in setting up a company.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

A survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the US Chamber of Commerce showed that “endemic corruption” it the biggest issue for US companies and investors in Cambodia.

Reading Time: 1 minute

corruptionA survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the US Chamber of Commerce showed that “endemic corruption” it the biggest issue for US companies and investors in Cambodia.

The 2013-14 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey asked 475 senior US business executives in ASEAN on benefits and obstacles of doing business in Cambodia. On the upside, they named low-cost labour, personal security and a positive attitude toward the US. Negative perceptions were a shortage of skilled workers, unfavorable laws and regulations and underdeveloped infrastructure. But the major worry for US investors was corruption, with 81 per cent of respondents raising the concern.

“There are two groups of in­vestors turned off by Cambodia, those who cannot afford to pay bribes and those who do not know how to think within a corrupt environment,” said Preap Kol, executive director of corruption watchdog Transparency International.

However, other investors are unconcerned. China, the top investor in Cambodia, pays more bribes to other governments than any other nation.

Kol said the government needs to create new laws and regulations to promote a level playing field among all businesses.

Ministry of Commerce Secretary of State Mao Thora said the government does have plans to address Cambodia’s corruption issue.

“We have an entire corruption law by the Anti-Corruption Unit that already exists, but the Ministry of Commerce has prepared a plan to better implement that law to fight corruption in business and encourage more foreign investors.”

He added that this will include putting investment policies online for foreign companies to study, which will better explain what documents are required and the costs involved in setting up a company.

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