Cambodia Morning News For March 14

Cambodia Morning News For March 14

Cambodia morning news by AEC News Today is your one stop for Cambodia news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities.


Cambodia morning news

Efforts to formalise SMEs fall short
The Cambodian government has made negligible progress in bringing small- and medium-size enterprise (SMEs) into the regulatory fold, reporting a less than 0.5 percent increase in the total number of companies registered in the last five years – a sign business professionals claim shows that tax incentives aimed at increasing SME compliance and expanding the country’s low tax base have garnered little traction.
The Phnom Penh Post

KDIC puts Tomato Bank on the chopping block
Tomato Specialized Bank, the smallest bank in the Kingdom, is attempting to sell a majority stake in its operations in order to dilute the equity stake of its defunct majority shareholder while securing a partner able to help it meet the central bank’s revised minimum capital requirements, bank executives said yesterday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Central Bank Sets Interest Rate Ceiling, Sparking Fears
The National Bank of Cambodia announced on Monday that it would set an annual interest rate ceiling of 18 percent for all microfinance institutions (MFIs), sparking concerns that lenders would stop offering smaller loans that often keep the most financially vulnerable afloat.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Old US Bombs Revive Dispute Over $500M War-Era Debt
The head of Cambodia’s largest demining operator cited Monday’s disposal of a pair of decades-old American bombs as part of the government’s mounting efforts to shame the U.S. into canceling the country’s ballooning war-era debt, which now stands at about $500 million.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Reporter’s notebook: covering brothel raids and Christian missionaries rescuing girls in Cambodia
Inside the world of Cambodia’s child sex trade, as told through the eyes of a survivor. Don and Bridget are the founders of Agape International Missions, or AIM, a Christian missionary group on the front lines of the war against child sex trafficking in Cambodia.
ABC News

Cambodia Outraged as US Demands Repayment of ‘Blood-Stained’ War Debt
Cambodians are responding with outrage to the U.S. government’s demand that the country repay a nearly 50-year-old loan to Cambodia’s brutal Lon Nol government, which came to power through a U.S.-backed coup and spent much of its foreign funds purchasing arms to kill its own citizens, according to Cambodia’s current prime minister Hun Sen.
Common Dreams

The U.S. Is Demanding Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Repayment from a Country It Helped Decimate
The Vietnam War may get all of the attention over 40 years later, but the United States continues to wash the blood of its hands from multiple 1970s era attacks on Southeast Asia, including a secret bombing of Cambodia.

MFI loan interest capped
The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has capped interest on microfinance loans to a maximum of 18 percent per year, an unprecedented move that came on the direct orders of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Defence Minister Tea Banh said yesterday – a decision some experts suggested had political overtones and could have unintended negative consequences for the poor.
The Phnom Penh Post

CPP reforms prove CNRP policies can work: Sokha
For proof his party’s policies are “practical”, look no further than reforms pursued by the CPP, opposition president Kem Sokha told supporters in Kampong Cham yesterday, suggesting some of the opposition’s 2013 election platform – derided by critics in the CPP as “impossible” – had been embraced by the ruling party.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia casino tax take jumps as gov’t squeezes NagaCorp
Cambodia’s government reaped a bumper tax crop from its land-based casino industry in 2016, primarily by putting the squeeze on top operator NagaCorp.
Calvin Ayre

R&F’s Angola mine, Cambodia project snared by China’s capital controls
Many Chinese companies’ overseas acquisitions are paralysed by government’s crackdown on capital remittances.
South China Morning Post

Cambodian Grenade Attack Victims Still Mourn, Hold Out Hope for Justice, 20 Years After Attack
Two decades on, victims and their family members who lost loved ones are still living in poverty and hoping for justice.

Kem Ley’s Vision Put to Test Ahead of Commune Elections
The ideals of the late political commentator Kem Ley will be put to the test at local elections in June, when a minor opposition party he helped create takes up policies he championed in an attempt to win over voters disillusioned with the status quo.

Cambodian Women Yet to Receive Full Social Support
Cambodian women have yet to receive equal support and the ability to fully participate in Cambodian society, experts say.

Amid Health Rumors, Deputy PM Sok An Becomes ‘Samdech’
With rumors swirling about his health, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, who has not been seen in public for months, on Monday became the latest ruling party stalwart to be bestowed with the honorific “Samdech,” which translates roughly as “The Greatest.”
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Preah Vihear Government Weighs Villagers’ Claim on Sugar Concession Land
Preah Vihear provincial authorities say they have established a working group to study the validity of claims that 1,500 hectares of land leased by a Chinese sugar plantation should be set aside as a communal forest for 70 Kuy ethnic minority families.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)



Feature photo John Le Fevre



Cambodia morning news roundup is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.




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