Cambodia sees slowdown in new business numbers in 9 months

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-11-1 15:08:54

The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce said Friday that it had granted operating licenses to 2, 223 new companies in the first nine months of 2013, down 14.6 percent compared with 2,606 new firms over the same period last year.

From January to September this year, the Ministry had registered 1,118 foreigner-owned firms, down 9 percent year-on- year, and 1,105 Cambodian-possessed companies, down 20 percent.

Foreign firms are mostly run by Chinese, South Koreans, Japanese, Malaysian and Vietnamese and doing businesses in garment and textile, footwear, agriculture, agro-industry, tourism and construction.

Kong Putheara, director of the Ministry's statistics and planning department, attributed the slowdown to tightened rules for business start-ups and political conflict after the July's election.

"Some businesspeople and investors still wait to see the progress of political situation after the election, but I think that currently, business environment has returned to normal," he said.

The country held a general election on July 28. The results showed that the ruling Cambodian People's Party of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen gained the victory, but the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) of longtime opposition leader Sam Rainsy refused to accept the results, claiming serious poll irregularities.

Despite a boycott of parliament by the opposition's 55 lawmakers-elect, the ruling party's 68 lawmakers-elect voted on Sept. 24 for the formation of a new government under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Sam Rainsy reiterated on Thursday that the current government is "illegitimate" because it was formed in a violation of the constitution and his party would continue to boycott parliament unless the poll irregularities are resolved.

However, Hun Sen has defended that his government is " legitimate" since the nation's King Norodom Sihamoni had already given endorsement.

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