Foreign lawyers put on notice

Wed, 29 April 2015

Charles Rollet

In the latest chapter of the Cambodian Bar Association’s crusade to clamp down on foreign lawyers practising in the Kingdom, a high-ranking court official has informed all city and provincial prosecutors to “eliminate the anarchy” stemming from non-native lawyers’ activities.

“To protect the professionalism of the bar association, we have to cooperate to respect the rule of law, especially the law on the legal profession, and work together to eliminate the anarchy from foreign lawyers who are practicing without registering in Cambodia,” a letter from prosecutor general of the Court of Appeal Ouk Savuth reads. Continue reading

Thai push for CLMV to issue baht bonds

Tue, 28 April 2015

May Kunmakara

Thai Finance Minister Sommai Phasee has urged both the public and private sector in Thailand’s neighbouring countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam – to issue baht-denominated bonds to raise funds for their infrastructure needs.

According to the Bangkok Post, the minister said the bond issuance would be in tune with his ministry’s intention to make the baht a widely used currency in those countries. Countries would be allowed to issue these bonds without a credit rating as long as they were guaranteed by their governments. Countries can also use credit ratings assigned by Thailand’s rating Continue reading

OZ Minerals Cambodia bribery investigation ongoing

Tue, 28 April 2015

Charles Rollet

The Australian Federal Police has been investigating Australian mining firm OZ Minerals since September over claims it engaged in bribery in Cambodia in 2009, according to an annual report from the firm released on April 2.

The case relates to OZ Minerals’ former gold exploration venture at Okvau in Mondolkiri, where, in 2011, it is alleged the mining firm paid more than $1 million to three women on the board of its Cambodian joint-venture partner, Shin Ha, when it bought the company in 2009. Continue reading

WEF Asia meet in Cambodia next year

Thu, 23 April 2015

May Kunmakara

The next edition of the World Economic Forum East Asia will be held in Cambodia, with the decision being announced after a meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and the managing director of the WEF, Philipp Rosler, on the sidelines of the meet.

During the meeting, Rosler thanked Hun Sen for attending the forum and added that he expects next year’s meeting to include countries such as Laos and Myanmar, according to a report by state-owned Agence Kampuchea Presse. Continue reading

Till 2018 become the year of empty Phnom Penh condos?

Thu, 23 April 2015

Siv Meng

Recently CBRE CAMBODIA reported that the market supply of Phnom Penh condominiums will increase by 533 per cent from early 2015 by the end of 2018. About 9500 additional units will be available for rent in central and outer Phnom Penh, according to CBRE Cambodia associate director Simon Griffiths. According to a recent report of real estate agency Century21 condominium development increased by 20 per cent annually from 2008 to 2014 with 13 projects successfully completed, which translates to 3,090 available units as of today. With another 17 projects currently underway, the report predicted that by 2018, when many of the current projects are slated for completion, the number will have more then tripled to over 10,000 available units across Phnom Penh. Continue reading

phnom Penh office space increases in first quarter

Thu, 23 April 2015

Sum Manet

Rental prices for prime Phnom Penh office space saw an increase of 3.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the Knight Frank Asia Pacific Prime Office Rental Index.

Knight Frank country manager Ross Wheble said that, excluding land, existing property prices have not recorded significant increases during the past two years; it is only the newly launched projects that are able to achieve higher selling prices because of their superior design, quality and amenities. Continue reading

land Prices rise in prime areas

Thu, 23 April 2015

Sum Manet

Property prices in Phnom Penh’s prime residential locations increased by 10.7 per cent in the second half of 2014, while prime office development land prices increased by 11.1 per cent, according to Knight Frank Prime Asia Development Land Indices.

The research showed that Bengaluru, Phnom Penh and Bangkok all saw big increases in residential and office property prices. Bengaluru had the largest increase in the price of residential sites with 11.0 per cent, followed by Phnom Penh with 10.7 per cent and Jakarta with 8.0 per cent.

Ross Wheble, the independent global property consultancy’s country manager, said that as better quality developments are Continue reading

un Sen eager to be included in TPP

Tue, 21 April 2015

Ananth Baliga

Prime Minister Hun Sen questioned yesterday the exclusion of certain ASEAN nations, including Cambodia, from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regulatory and investment agreement, while speaking at the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2015 in Jakarta.

“That’s a point that I still question myself. What is the real purpose of establishing the TPP, that they include half of ASEAN to be partners but leaving half of ASEAN outside?” Hun Sen said.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the meeting, Hun Sen said the TPP and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free-trade agreement between ASEAN states and six other nations, including Australia, China and India, were key to addressing economic challenges facing the region. Continue reading

Tourism licences to go online

Tue, 21 April 2015

Chan Muyhong

The Ministry of Tourism launched a new online system yesterday to register tourism-related businesses and tour guides who need a licence, in order to ease the licence inspection process and boost government revenues, said a senior ministry official.

Neb Samouth, director general at the Ministry of Tourism, said the online system is part of governmental reforms to simplify the licence-registration process, which has to be done every year, and aid with the inspection of unlicensed businesses.

“The goal is to reduce the unnecessary barriers for the private sector as part of government reforms,” said Samouth.

The new system, which will replace the traditional registration process by 2016, will help the government increase tax collection as each business will now be issued an ID and Quick Response Code, making tracking the companies easier. Continue reading

Minister lays out garments’ impact

Tue, 21 April 2015

Charles Rollet

Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng said on Sunday that Cambodia’s garment sector, a key driver of economic growth, currently had 1,087 garment and footwear factories, spending a combined $1 billion on wages per year.

“In addition, the garment and footwear industries generate about 2 million indirect jobs, such as house rentals, food sales and transportation,” Sam Heng was reported as saying by news agency Xinhua.

Sam Heng’s statement, made at a conference in Phnom Penh, reiterated the importance of garments to the Kingdom’s economy, with $5.7 billion of garments being exported last year. Footwear exports added another $33.84 million, with the total making up around 80 per cent of the country’s exports. Continue reading