The National Assembly of Cambodia approved on Tuesday long-awaited draft laws on e-commerce and consumer protection, which were designed to govern online businesses and to enhance investor and consumer confidence.

Some 108 lawmakers, who were present at the parliamentary session, unanimously approved the draft bill on e-commerce.

E-commerce refers to the purchase of goods and services via online system.

Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said the draft law on e-commerce, initiated in 2012, consisted of 12 chapters with 67 articles.

“It is aimed at facilitating and regulating online business operations for investors and consumers,” he told the parliament. “It will enhance confidence for both investors and consumers.”

The draft law has been made after the Southeast Asian nation has seen a remarkable rise in online businesses in recent years because of rapid growth of Internet users.

According to the latest figures of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, about 14.1 million, or 86.7 percent, out of the kingdom’s 16.2 million people have access to the Internet, most of them get online via smartphones.

CPP’s senior lawmaker Nin Saphon said the draft law will be a key legal instrument used to promote e-commerce businesses in Cambodia and between Cambodia and other countries.

“It will importantly contribute to the development of digital economy in Cambodia,” she said.

Saphon said the draft bill has also stated fines and/or prison punishment for violators.

For the draft law on consumer protection, 105 lawmakers, who were present at the parliamentary session, unanimously adopted it.

Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said the 51-article draft bill was designed to protect the benefits of consumers and to promote honest competition.

“It not only protects consumers from dishonest merchants, but also stipulates about information that needs to be provided to consumers and allows the regulator to prepare regulations on information standard that merchants have to comply with,” he said. “It provides consumers with confidence in entering into commercial transactions with merchants.”

After the parliament’s approval, the two draft laws need to be finally reviewed by the Senate before being submitted to King Norodom Sihamoni for promulgation.

Source: China ASEAN Business Council