GOVERNMENT PRIVATE SECTOR FORUM: AN INTRODUCTION
The Government-Private Sector Forum (G-PSF) was established in 1997 at the initiative of the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to provide an efficient platform for consultation between the Government and the Private Sector on investment climate issues ranging from long term policy to day-to-day operations. It provides a reliable platform for the business community to raise and resolve problems with the Government of Cambodia. The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) acts as the secretariat of the G-PSF. CDC facilitates dialogue within and among the joint Government/Private Sector Working Groups, and broadly between the Government and the business community.
The G-PSF also improves the business environment, builds trust, and encourages private investment through a demand driven process with the Private Sector identifying issues and recommending solutions. By fostering capacity and a strong relationship between the Government and Private Sector, the G-PSF is considered a key pillar in improving the investment climate in Cambodia.
There are thirteen Working Groups created under the umbrella of the G-PSF. Private Sector representatives meet before the main Working Groups to review and comment on proposed legislation and to identify issues for discussion in the formal Working Group meetings. These Private Sector Working Groups are supported by the secretariats of respective business associations and the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce. Among the thirteen Working Groups, the Working Group on Law, Tax and Governance (WG D) is a cross-cutting working group co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth, Minister of Economy and Finance, and Mr. Arnaud Darc, Chairman and CEO of Thalias Co., Ltd. and IBC Executive Committee. IBC is the Secretariat. The WG D is considered “the court of last resort” as it takes on issues which might not fit into the other working groups. As consequence, a myriad of topics has been referred to this working group, including matters related to telecommunication, transportation, mining, anti- corruption law, etc.
The Mechanism of Meetings
It is divided in 3 levels of discussion:
1. Private Sector Working Group (PSWG): Meeting is open to the Business Community at large.
The purpose of the discussion is to decide what items make it on the agenda and to have open discussions on the issues and alternative solutions proposed by Private Sector.
2. Working Group (WG): Discussion between the Private Sector and Ministry representative.
Within this discussion, each person from the Private Sector whose subject was taken up at PSWG level will introduce their issue and a deliberation between the two parties will ensue.
3. Government Private Sector Forum (GPSF): Discussion between the Royal Government and the Private Sector Working Group to consolidate the Private Sector’s proposals and ensure follow- up.