On Tuesday, Cambodian National Assembly approved a draft law on e-commerce, introducing important rules and regulations to Cambodian market.

The draft law aims to protect consumers from dishonest merchants, which is increasingly important due to the recent rise of online business across Southeast Asia.

According to the latest figures provided by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications about 14.1 million people, 86.7 percent of Cambodian population, have access to the internet.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, there are currently more than 500,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cambodia, however, less than 15 percent are registered officially.

The e-commerce law is expected to give Cambodian SMEs more opportunities, connecting their supply chains to domestic and international markets.

The Federation of Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia executive director Loek Sinrithy said: “For me, the law on e-commerce will contribute in promoting the use of technology and expanding the Cambodian market internationally.”

The law aspires to contribute to the development of Cambodia’s digital economy and bring benefits for investors and the government. It aims to help promote transparency in e-commerce as many investors have spoken out about the secrecy of online businesses.

The draft bill has also stated fines and prison punishment for violators.