Australia Unveils Plans to Develop Three Agri-Food Industrial Parks

Australia has pledged to develop three Agri-Food Industrial Parks, generating $1.5 billion and creating 100,000 jobs with half allocated to women
Australia embassy in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Australia embassy in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Australia plans to support the Cambodian Government in developing an Agri-food Industrial Park (AIP) in three main provinces. This initiative is expected to benefit the Cambodian economy by generating $5.1 billion and creating 100,000 new jobs, with 50 percent of these opportunities going to women.

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According to a post by the Australian Embassy in Cambodia on Wednesday, the AIP will enhance Cambodia's agricultural value-added products and exports. It aims to contribute $5.1 billion to the Cambodian economy by 2045 and create over 100,000 new jobs, with more than half of them being for women.

The AIP will serve as a hub for agrifood-processing, research and development, and capacity building. It is being developed with the intention of providing an inclusive and safe workplace environment, particularly for women and marginalized employees.

In April, the Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development (CAPRED) program organized a visit to Melbourne and Perth for Cambodia's AIP Steering Committee members. The purpose was to familiarize them with Australian Agri-food Industrial Parks and expose them to AIP ecosystems, including food innovation, enabling business environments, and government policies in Australia, as reported by Agence Kampuchea Press (AKP).

Cambodia plans to develop AIPs in three target provinces: Battambang, Kampong Speu, and Kampong Thom.

Between 2017 and 2022, Cambodia experienced a 160 percent increase in mango production and a significant surge of 6,500 percent in dried fruit exports. The country possesses considerable potential for high-value agricultural products such as mangoes, bananas, cashews, sweet potatoes, sesame, chilies, and the renowned Kampot pepper.

CAPRED focuses on three pillars: agriculture and agro-processing, infrastructure services, and trade, investment, and enterprise development. The overall goal of the project is to bring social and economic benefits to all Cambodians. Gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI), as well as climate adaptation and mitigation, will be integrated into all activities.

CAPRED will work towards improving enabling policies and financial incentives for investment in water, energy, and logistics infrastructure, with a special emphasis on women-led enterprises and marginalized groups. Their plans include promoting high value-added agriculture, building a resilient clean energy sector, and facilitating green trade and investment.

CAPRED builds upon Australia's 70-year legacy of investment in Cambodia's economic and human development.