Public-Private Sector Forum To Be Held This Month


Business leaders will have a chance this month to discuss with public officials the most relevant issues affecting the sector at the Public-Private Sector Forum, a meeting held this year for the first time since 2013.

A truck carries a container inside Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, the nation’s only deep-sea port. KT/Mai Vireak

The forum gives representatives of the ten private sector working groups the opportunity to communicate their concerns directly to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Established in 1999 at the behest of Mr Hun Sen, the Public-Private Sector Forum aims to provide a reliable dialogue mechanism for consultation between the government and the private sector on investment climate issues to encourage private sector initiatives.

This will be the 18th time the forum is being held, but the first since 2013.

In a meeting with the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce held Sunday, Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), urged the private sector to come up with a list of problems and solutions to bring up during the forum.

Sin Chanthy, a member of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), which leads the private sector working groups, told Khmer Times that the issues must be submitted to CDC for approval before they can be discussed with government officials at the forum.

“We held a meeting on Sunday to prepare for the upcoming Public-Private Sector Forum. We have come up with a long list of problems, but the main issues are agricultural exports, taxation, and logistics,” Mr Chanthy said.

He said the forum gives businesspeople an invaluable opportunity to meet with government officials to find solutions to pressing issues.

The Public-Private Sector Forum works to improve the business environment, build trust, and encourage private investment through a demand-driven process with the private sector, according to the government.

The working groups are agriculture and agroindustry, tourism, manufacturing and small and medium enterprises and services, law, tax and governance, banking and financing services, transportation and infrastructure, export processing and trade facilitation, industrial relations, unhusked rice, and power and mining resources.

According to Mr Chanthy, CDC and CCC agreed to add three more working groups for future iterations of the forum – duties on textile exports, duties on non-textile exports, and duties on exports of local products.

The forum will be held on March 29 at the CDC office in Phnom Penh.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.