On January 18, 2017, Ministry of Commerce, H.E. SOK Sopheak, Under-Secretary of State, presided over a workshop on Cross-border Paperless Trade Facilitation. The workshop is jointly hosted by Ministry of Commerce and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (UNESCAP), who provide the guest speakers. In addition to the participants from the Ministry of Commerce and relevant agencies, the workshop was also attended by concerned agencies from Lao PDR and Vietnam.
In his remarks, H.E. Sok Sopheak noted that, nowadays, global trade is very crucial to the national economies which leads to an increase in cross-border transactions. These transactions, however, have to go through cumbersome border crossing procedures, which places heavy burden on the exporter and importers. Therefore, in order to reduce this burden, the government has simplified customs and other border procedures for international trade and reduced transaction costs through the application of trade facilitation measures.
The Framework Agreement on Facilitation Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific is initiated by UNESCAP will result in long-term benefits for the region by promoting cross-border paperless trade to make international trade more efficient and transparent, while improving regulatory compliance.
Excellency continued that H.E. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, has expressed a strong commitment to implement Trade Facilitation Agreement and has already requested technical assistance from various development partners to make sure Cambodia could comply with categories B and C. The Minister indicated that the top priority is the establishment of the Single Window, addressing soft issues and infrastructure. The second priority is regional trade facilitation with the establishment of One-Stop Border Posts.
According to UNESCAP research, region-wide implementation of cross border paperless trade in Asia and the Pacific could lead to export gains of US$257 billion annually. Even partial implementation of cross-border paperless trade measures could lead to an export increase of US$36 billion annually, and the time required to export could decrease by as much as 44 per cent with cost reduced by up to 31 per cent.
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