The Ministry of Economy and Finance has officially launched a single window service to streamline work across several departments. The service is intended to benefit government agencies, private sector firms and the public on issues including tax collection and customs duties.
Anthony Galliano, founder and CEO of Cambodian Investment Management, said the single window service will support trade policies and initiatives in accordance with international agreements with ASEAN and the World Trade Organisation. “Given their crucial function in tax collection and regulation and customs and excise, it is pragmatic that the Ministry of Economy and Finance takes leadership in realisation of this policy ambition by the government,” he said.
According to Galliano, Cambodia has made steady progress in reforming international trade processes by modernising information management systems and streamlining processes and procedures. However the country’s international trade procedures, still involve manual tasks requiring submission of documents in multiple copies at the various regulatory government agencies involved in international trade.
“This creates a layer of complexity and delay to border clearance procedures and act as a costly impediment to the private sector, negatively influencing the trade and investment environment. A single window service would facilitate faster and more transparent international trade procedures reduce costs and provide consistency and certainty to the total process,” he said.
“Moving processes from manual to digital, eliminating human interaction, and standardising data and procedures will increase productivity, lessen the opportunity for corruption and improve the country’s international image and standing. Linking the various functions in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and in end multiple ministries, will be a vast improvement and competitive advantage.”
Preap Kol, executive director for Transparency International Cambodia, said the move heralds a more transparent way of working and reducing corruption. “We welcome this initiative,” he said, adding that the Ministry of Interior’s existing single window service had already proven a success.
A Ministry of Economy and Finance statement said the public will be able to check the cost of services online before coming to the single window. “The Ministry of Economy and Finance firmly hope the official launch of the single window service will play a critical role in enhancing work procedures, making it easier for the public to access services in a smooth and efficient way,” the statement said. “People will also be able to submit recommendations on the service and give feedback to us.”
There will be three single window offices within the ministry and three outside. Those inside will be located in the procurement department, the financial industry department and the national accounting council. The external services will be at the General Department of Taxation, the General Department of Customs and Excise, and the National Treasury General Department.