Cambodia has high hopes of forging a deal with the Philippines to export 1,000 tonnes of rice as a trial, the head of Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) said on Monday after a visit to explore the market.
Chan Sokheang, CRF president, said that the delegation, which included officials from the Ministry of Commerce and state-owned Green Trade Company, had not yet closed a deal from the February 1 to 3 visit. However, he expects a deal to be finalized by the end of March.
During the visit, Sokheang said that the Philippines has imported small quantities of fragrant and high price rice, and the market often depends on white rice or medium-priced rice for the general population.
The eight-member delegation, including Chan Sokty, Chief Executive Officer of Green Trade Company, and Kim Sreyroth, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Commerce, also learned about the channels of rice sales in the Philippines, Sokheang said.
“We really have high hopes to prepare an agreement on the sale and buying of Cambodian rice into the Philippines in the future. According to my expectations, we will export 1,000 tonnes and we are also waiting for further detailed discussions and negotiations,” he said.
“The 1,000 tonnes is just a trial to export to the Philippines to see the quality, process of exports and imports, and to build new relationships within the ASEAN framework between the two countries,” he said.
The Philippines News Agency (PNA) reported that the Cambodia delegation was exploring opportunities to directly export rice, offering an alternative and cheaper source.
The news agency added that the Cambodian delegates were also exploring exporting rice through a government-to-government arrangement between Green Trade and Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC), which falls under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Cambodian rice can enter the Philippine market at 35 percent tariff rates, the news agency said. Citing DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual, it claims that the Cambodian delegates said they can commit to supply three million metric tons of rice to the Philippines, which was the country’s level of imported rice in 2022.