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Cambodia

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Editorial

Legal market overview

Cambodia’s political system takes place within the framework of a constitutional monarchy: the monarch acts as head of state and the prime minister possesses executive power as the head of government. Legislative power lies in the hands of Cambodia’s governing body, the National Assembly. Cambodia’s current monarch is King Norodom Sihamoni and Hun Sen is Prime Minister.

Following three decades of relative stability after significant political unrest, the legal market is expanding as the government seeks to make the framework more sophisticated. There has been increasing focus on regulations, with an emphasis on those designed to combat fraud and enforce tax compliance.

In recent times, there has been a move away from the country’s traditional agricultural background towards the manufacturing industries as the government seeks to encourage foreign investment in projects. For example, a law is being drafted that would permit trustees to manage investments and properties in Cambodia and, as such, would provide a vehicle for foreign investors to invest in property through a trustee. Despite current limitations on investment, there has been a significant increase in infrastructure, telecoms, real estate and energy power projects, and Chinese investment in these areas is particularly prominent. The Mekong River is Cambodia’s major waterway, meaning that the number of hydro-power projects is also on the up. As a result of these developments, most law firms have expertise in project finance, real estate and construction/infrastructure matters.

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