WTO ministers approved Cambodia`s accession agreement on 11 September 2003. However, in view of the political deadlock that followed the July 2003 elections, which prevented the convening of Parliament, the WTO General Council agreed to extend the deadline for ratification of the agreement by the Cambodian parliament from March to September 2004. By forming a new government in mid-July 2004, the National Assembly ratified the accession agreement at the end of August 2004 and Cambodia became a member of the WTO on 13 October 2004. This misunderstanding is due in part to The fact that Cambodia is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Aspects of Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), an international agreement that sets minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property regulation. Rights holders with intellectual property experience know that TRIPS requires Member States to comply with the Bern Convention. The international agreement in turn obliges members to grant the same copyright protection to works originating in other Member States than their own nationals. With WTO membership, Cambodia can now fully enjoy the rights enjoyed by all members under WTO agreements, such as non-discrimination by other WTO members and the ability to apply the dispute settlement procedure to the Wto. The WTO agreement on trim excludes any measures that could restrict and distort trade. However, given Cambodia`s state of income, the list of views contained in its accession agreement contains provisions requiring companies to use a certain amount of locally produced intermediate consumption (local content requirements) and to limit the volume or value of imports they can buy or use in relation to their exports (trade offset requirements). The reforms are expected to strengthen five aspects of private sector activity.
They (1) will create a transparent legal basis for commercial activities and simplify dispute resolution, (2) ensure the safeguarding of property rights, (3) protect consumers from dangerous products, (4) facilitate the smooth running of foreign trade and (5) promote financial intermediation. As a result of these restrictions, very few foreign rights holders currently enjoy automatic protection under Cambodia`s copyright law. This chapter discusses the various reforms undertaken in the context of Cambodia`s accession to the WTO. The large number of laws expected to be passed by the National Assembly in the coming years will create strong legal infrastructure that will promote economic activity in Cambodia. It goes without saying that the usefulness of these reforms will only be achieved with the full application of the legal framework. Section A provides basic information on the accession process and Section B lists the main areas of reform. Members of the Working Group: Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Panama, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States, Venezuela President: A. Meloni (Italy) The Cambodian Working Group was established on 21 December 1994.
Cambodia presented a memorandum on its foreign trade regime in June 1999. Responses to questions related to the memorandum were distributed in January 2001 and the last revisions and updates were in March 2003. The meeting of 14 November 2002 was the third working group. It marked the evolution of the accession process, as, for the first time, members focused on the ideas of a draft working group report, thus focusing on the agreement on Cambodia`s terms of accession.