Wednesday 10th , 2010
In our Q410 Pharmaceutical Business Environment Ratings, Cambodia is last of the 17 pharmaceutical markets surveyed in the Asia Pacific region, with its situation unlikely to improve in the coming months. Transparency International rates the country as the fourth most corrupt in Asia, with only Laos, Myanmar and Afghanistan faring worse. Failure to address these structural issues will bode poorly for long-term growth and development.
Additionally, Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh said on August 24 2010 that the governments decision to introduce competition laws in Cambodia has been deferred. He said the government will wait until 2011 to consider whether to implement the legislation, although a finalised draft version has been completed. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)s member states have been given until 2015 to comply with regional guidelines on competition policy. The authors are concerned that failure to meet the deadline may deter foreign companies from expanding in Cambodia as they await the finalisation of the competition laws.
In positive news, a US$5.9bn action plan that covers the development of physical infrastructure and trade facilitation in five Mekong countries (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar) was approved in August. Cham Prasidh said on August 26 that Cambodia and Laos may get the most financing support for infrastructure development when the countries start implementing the plan in October. The authors believe the plan will lead to a significant increase in trade between the Mekong countries over the coming years and speed up economic development in Cambodia.