Embrace, Don’t Fear: Sok Siphana Talks ASEAN Integration

Source: Management Insider

After successfully paving Cambodia’s path into World Trade Organization (WTO) for five years, culminating to its accession in 2004, Dr Siphana served as an advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia as well as the Supreme National Economic Council. Today, Dr Siphana is a practising attorney at Sok Siphana & Associates (a member of ZICOlaw) as an international trade and corporate law specialist. He was interviewed by Management Insider on discussion of ASEAN Integration.

With the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in Cambodia recently, he discussed how AEC would imply its benefits through Cambodia’s entrepreneurs in open economy.

In a statement, Dr. Sok Siphana said that the immediate effect from AEC will be psychological as Cambodians have always seen themselves as in between two larger economies of Thailand and Vietnam. “Cambodia is no longer a small country, but it is a gateway into ASEAN, or rather, into the greater Mekong subregion.”

He also added that young generation of entrepreneurs and professionals will be able to enjoy the benefits as they gain exposure to the regional way of doing business. In addition, Dr. Siphana advised Cambodian businesses to change their mindset on way of doing business. “Instead of thinking about the overwhelming competition, they (businesses) should start to think about cooperation, collaboration and teaming up.”

Further to his discussion on AEC, Dr Siphana believed that the organization will be a best platform to provide framework in issuing regulations that will help to stabilize certain sectors of the economy. It also will help to protect the public with better consumer protections.

As a regional charter-based organization, AEC aims to transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor and free flow of capital.

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