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Cambodia holds gov't-private sector dialogue after 2-year hiatus

PHNOM PENH, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The Government-Private Sector Forum was held here on Tuesday after it has had a hiatus for two consecutive years because of Cambodia's ASEAN chairmanship in 2012 and general election in 2013.

The Tuesday's dialogue was presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen with the participation of about 400 people who are government officials, business representatives, diplomatic corps and development partners.

The forum provided a reliable dialogue mechanism for consultation between the government and the private sectors on investment climate issues ranging from long range policy to day-to- day operations to encourage private sector initiatives.

During the four-hour forum, Hun Sen had resolved problems and concerns raised by representatives of ten private sectors in agriculture and agro-industry; tourism; manufacturing and small and medium enterprises; law, tax and governance; banking and financial services; transport and infrastructure; export processing and trade facilitation; industrial relations; paddy rice and milled rice; and energy and mines.

Permanent deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon said the forum was convened in a context of continued peace, national unity and political stability.

He said all branches of Cambodia -- legislative, executive and judicial branches -- are operating normally despite ongoing boycott of parliament by the main opposition party after the general election in July last year.

Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), expressed thanks to the government for restoring peace and order in January and bringing a stop to the illegal behavior of certain minority trade unions.

Nang Sothy, co-chair of the Government-Private Working Group on Industrial Relations, said the illegal protests led by six pro- opposition trade unions between Dec. 24 and Jan. 3 had damaged factory properties in the amount of 75 million U.S. dollars.

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