According to Sok Chenda Sophea, secretary general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC). The law was enacted on October 15 last year and will be amended by sub-decree but Chenda Sophea, who is also a minister attached to the prime minister, said he would not divulge details.
“You are asking me questions that will be contained in the sub-decree and I cannot say something that has not yet been adopted,” he told EuroCham members during an event on the law. “I have everything in mind. In fact, we have already drafted it, but it is one of my basic principles for the law. Did you see my comment before the law was passed? You have a lot of comments but never from the CDC,” he said.
Chenda Sophea said the law was drafted in such a way that it did not have to be updated every two years. Instead, he said changes could be introduced through an annual financial management law submitted by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
“We live more than ever in a context of uncertainty. We live in a rapidly changing world. We leave room for future decisions based on the new context that we do not know today. For this reason, we do not enshrine it in law,” he said. ” Do not panic. That doesn’t mean 2022 isn’t in and 2023 you lose everything. For example with the 4IR digital revolution, today cannot anticipate next year. We all know that data centers are now at the top of our landscape. Here it is not mentioned. Obviously, we can put in the next budget law that today’s data center investment projects to date will receive incentives.
EuroCham President Tassilo Brinzer thanked the government for allowing the chamber and the private sector to give their input when drafting the investment law.
“In particular, our commitment to the part of the law that is currently receiving the most international media attention, its green business and sustainability provisions, has been a focal point of our consultation. Knowing that green business and sustainability are always at the forefront of the global agenda, we have always believed that recognition of this global and regional trend, and I can say that within ASEAN and its business community world of more than 10,000 companies, green business and sustainability is the only major economic topic. for the near future. This will mean huge investments for Cambodia in the years to come,” Brinzer said.
EuroCham members pushed Sophea for more information on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that would benefit from tax incentives under the investment law, as it mentions SMEs in “priority sectors” without giving specific details on the type of SMEs that will be included.
“Among the 19 sectors that will be eligible for incentives, you have, at point nine, SMEs in priority sectors. It is necessary to mention the priority sectors because without these words people will misunderstand. All SMEs would think ‘wow, we qualify’ and they would be disappointed,” he said. “What are the priority sectors, that’s on my mind but I can’t share it with you,” he said. “Logically, it is the SMEs that will provide these  sectors”.
Sophea was also asked whether the sub-decree of the investment law will define the geographical locations where new investments will be encouraged and incentivized. He pointed to Vietnam and Thailand where incentives have been given to areas A, B and C. In area C, areas that are remote and lack infrastructure, he said incentives have been given but no development had not taken place. He said the CDC and the government see no point in giving incentives to projects in areas where poor infrastructure would likely lead to failure.