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Sciaroni & Associates – Cambodia
Sciaroni & Associates is a  leading professional and investment advisory firm serving Southeast Asia since 1993.  Based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with legal offices in Vientiane, Laos and Yangon, Myanmar, we provide knowledgeable business insights and experienced guidance to many of the world’s leading companies, governments, economic think tanks, global development investment funds to help maximize the value of our clients’ investments.
Click here to download a pdf of our "2015 Doing Business in Cambodia" guidebook of frequently asked questions (1.3MB file).
Sciaroni & Associates Primary Areas of Practice
Banking & Finance: 
Sciaroni & Associates provides advice on finance structuring matters, assists banks, borrowers, insurance companies, MFI's, international financial institutions and property developers with all aspects of licensing, and loan agreement review to ensure corporate banking compliance.
Corporate  &  Commercial:
The firm advises investors in a wide range of commercial work, including company registration and dissolution, ongoing corporate governance requirements, business licensing, investment incentives and changes to the corporate entity.
Dispute Resolution:
Sciaroni & Associates partners with local counsel contributing its extensive experience in dealing with Cambodian courts in seeking dispute resolution across a broad range of matters.
Due Diligence:
Whether examining a merger, joint  venture or acquisition, the Sciaroni & Associates team provides comprehensive due diligence investigations that enable our clients to make informed investment decisions.
Energy &  Mining:
Sciaroni &  Associates is a founding member of CAMEC (Cambodian Association of Mining and Exploration Companies) and represents major multinational drilling, mining and oil and gas companies.
Property  &  Real Estate:
The firm assists investors in the purchasing, leasing, mortgaging and development or land and property to secure and protect these key assets.
Sciaroni & Associates has extensive experience in advising clients on implementing a suitable tax strategy to reduce tax risk to an acceptable level.
The firm assists clients in drafting labor contracts and related documentation, advising on registrations with governmental authorities, collective bargaining agreements in accordance with changing laws. Our team provides support in the resolution of labor disputes.
Japan Desk:
The firm’s Japan Desk is the focal point for our Japanese clients in Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos addressing their investment needs, coordinating matters for our Japanese clients across practice groups and providing advice on the rapidly changing business and regulatory environments. All members of the Japan Desk team are fluent in Japanese and experienced business professionals.
Cambodia Business Environment
According to the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, Cambodia was ranked 95th out of 177 countries for economic freedom  in 2013, higher than it neighbors, Vietnam and Laos. In 1999, it joined  the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a group of ten countries  with  a total population of 600 million. The China-Asian Free Trade Area came into  effect in 2010 and created a trading block of 1.9 billion people.
Cambodia’s economic growth rate, according to the World Bank, has averaged between 6% and 7% per annum over the past few years. This was largely driven by high export growth, healthy tourist  receipts and a robust construction industry coupled with reliable banking institutions.
There is still  much work  to be done, especially with  regard to  infrastructure.   However, the conditions  are in place for  sustained growth.   The relationship between  government, donors and civil society has been significantly strengthened  by regular dialogues between government and the private sector through  formal working groups.   Labor costs remain competitive and productivity is on the increase.
Rules governing trade have become easier and more liberal. Since Cambodia joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in  2005, it has committed itself to a wide range of reforms and adopted a wide range of new laws to facilitate trade. Investors in Cambodia can set up 100% foreign-owned investment  projects and repatriate their funds. There is contractual freedom and investors are afforded  protection against nationalization. As in every developing country, problems arise which can be slow to resolve but with the assistance of Sciaroni & Associates these challenges can be managed.
Cambodia Legal System
Cambodia has a Civil Law system, with influences from the Anglo-American systems. Laws are made by the National Assembly and reviewed by the Senate, and the Royal Government implements these laws through Sub-Decrees, Prakas (regulations) and other subordinate legal instruments. Currently, laws and regulations are not always readily and publicly available. In addition, there are often gaps in laws. This is where Sciaroni & Associates can be of assistance to new investors in identifying and understanding the requirements relevant to their business.
Cambodia Judicial System
Cambodia's judicial system is still developing. New Civil, Criminal, Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure Codes have been recently adopted.
Cambodian courts have jurisdiction to hear all types of matters (civil, commercial, criminal and administrative), which may be handled and heard by one judge or a panel of judges. However, in practice, the principles of the Civil Law tradition concerning the separation of the courts are applied.   For example, a civil case which also contains elements of a crime would have the criminal elements removed from the civil case and a separate criminal case would be filed. Cambodian law allows for the filing of criminal and civil cases simultaneously.
There are lower courts, or courts of the first instance, called municipal or provincial courts of first instance situated in the capital city of Phnom Penh and all provinces. There is one Military Court, which has jurisdiction over the whole of Cambodia.  There is only one Appeal Court, which will hear cases based on law and fact and a Supreme Court which only hears cases on matters of law unless there is an exceptional second appeal filed before it. The courts only allow the Khmer language so all documents must be submitted in Khmer.
In addition to the courts, there is an Arbitration  Council set up to deal with collective labor disputes and the newly-formed National Arbitration Center will be able to arbitrate commercial disputes when it is fully functional.
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Sciaroni & Associates is a leading professional and investment advisory firm doing business in Southeast Asia since 1993. Based in Cambodia with legal offices in Laos and Myanmar, we provide experienced advice and business insights to many of the world’s leading companies, governments, economic think tanks, global development funds, international NGOs and the Royal Government of Cambodia in accordance with strict international standards.
© Sciaroni & Associates 2015
Street Address: No. 24, Street 462, Sangkat Tonle BassacKhan Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1153 Phnom Penh Cambodia
Telephone: +855 23 210 225 Facsimilie: +855 23 213 089 Email: info@sa-asia.com