Fighting the illicit alcohol trade in Cambodia and ASEAN

Fighting the illicit alcohol trade in Cambodia and ASEAN

A brand new report, Towards an ASEAN Community: Tackling Illicit Alcohol in Southeast Asia, co-authored by the Asian countries Pacific International Spirits & Wines Alliance (APISWA), the Connections Against Counterfeit Mood (AACS), the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) and the Transnational Connections to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT), aims to increase awareness upon these issues and proposes several recommendations for the location.

The publication, to be launched on 18 Sept on the sidelines from the 54 th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ meeting in Siem Enjoy, demonstrates how, amongst other drivers, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem associated with illicit alcohol business, fuelled by prospering eCommerce platforms and alcohol delivery solutions in the midst of pandemic limitations.

Coupled with insufficient enforcement, excessive regulation, high taxation on legal alcohol products, and the cost effective of illicit items, the counterfeit trade market is expected to reach US$4 trillion in 2022, mainly fuelled by e-commerce. “Unfortunately, illicit trade across a range of industries is rife in ASEAN. It not just endangers public health and safety, it leads to customers getting substandard products and leads to loss of government revenues and power over markets. It can also result in reputation loss if a brand’s intellectual property is not being protected. ”

“Collaborative action between public and private sectors is key in order to tackling this issue because the report rightly highlights, ” Chris Humphrey, the Executive Movie director of the EU-ABC said.

Fatalities caused by consuming illicit rice wine really are a regular occurrence within Cambodia, with a bunch reported each year. In one incident in June 2021, eleven individuals died and ten were hospitalised right after drinking rice wines suspected to be poisonous.

Illicit alcohol also contributes to organised crime, impacts the operation of legitimate businesses, plus creates a loss of taxes revenue for governments.

“The public health expenses and personal tragedies from illicit alcohol are staggering. This brand new report can go a considerable ways in educating lawmakers in ASEAN that will illicit trade in alcohol must be ended, immediately, ” Jeffrey Hardy, the Director-General of TRACIT stated.

The particular report advocates for producing a dedicated ASEAN Taskforce on Illicit Trade led by the ASEAN Chairmanship to support and coordinate actions through the entire region. It also forces for stricter observance and tax procedures, as well as building consumer awareness and enacting legislation to protect customers.

APISWA Chairman, Wilson De Socorro, remarked: “Illicit alcohol poses an array of negative impacts including risk to public health and safety and lack of government revenue. Our industry stands ready to work in close cooperation with governments as well as other stakeholders to tackle this issue together. ”

The particular paper will formally be launched in the Siem Reap Policy Dialogue on Promoting Financial Inclusion and Fair Trade on 18 September, the free-to-attend event organized by the EU-ABC as well as the European Chamber of Commerce Cambodia that will feature representatives from your public and private sectors.  

The dialogue will take place from 8: 30 am in order to 12: 25 pm at Sokha Siem Reap Resort & Convention Center and show Minister of Business H. E. Pan Sorasak, EU-ABC Chief Martin Hayes, plus Advisor to Ministry of Commerce L. E. Phan Oun, among other recognized guests from the personal and public field.

For more information on illicit trade and the Towards an ASEAN Community: Dealing with Illicit Alcohol in Southeast Asia publication, contact Public Affairs & Programmes Manager Brenda Lee at APISWA. Email: secretariat@apiswa. org Mobile: +65 9880 2261.

For more information on the Siem Reap Policy Conversation on Promoting Monetary Inclusion and Reasonable Trade, contact EuroCham at info@eurocham-cambodia. org or visit eurocham-cambodia. org.