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Cambodia needs reforms to support investment

Staff writer |
Cambodia is making full preparation for the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by end 2015, but needs to step up reforms to encourage more investment, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

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Addressing corruption and anti-competitive practices must also be a priority in Cambodia, as in many other countries, according to the findings and recommendations in "ASEAN Economic Community: A Work in Progress," a book produced by ADB in collaboration with the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies.

"Cambodia is doing well with preparations for the AEC because it has always been an open and outward-looking economy, but it needs to catch up with the implementation of ASEAN e-customs, the National Single Window, and the ASEAN Single Window border procedures," Jayant Menon, a co-editor of the book and lead economist at ADB, said at the book launching.

The book examines the main challenges facing Cambodia and other members of ASEAN in realizing the AEC, and ways to overcome these challenges.

"A key message of the study is that the target date of 2015 should not be viewed as a hard deadline but rather a milestone in a much longer journey," Jayant said. "ASEAN's own scorecards point to the fact that the AEC will not be realized by its self-imposed deadlines, even though a lot of progress will have been made."

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) group Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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