Minister Calls on Philippines to Increase Cambodian Rice Imports

Cambodia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has urged the Philippines to import more Cambodian rice and explore investing in the nation’s agri-food sector
Workers prepare to pack rice at a store in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Workers prepare to pack rice at a store in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Cambodia has called on the Philippines to import more rice from the kingdom and explore investment opportunities in the agri-food industry.

On November 9, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn, met with Enrique A. Manalo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, where he made a request for the Philippines to import more rice from Cambodia and make use of a new investment law with more favorable incentives to explore investment opportunities, especially in the agri-food sector.

According to a ministry press release, the two foreign ministers noted increasing trade exchange with a view to further promote bilateral trade and investment cooperation. They agreed to encourage both sides to expedite the negotiation on the agreement on avoidance of double taxation.

Song Saran, CEO at Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd, told Kiripost on Thursday that Cambodia is a country with the potential to produce high-quality rice of high standards that enable the Philippines to consider importing Cambodian rice.

He hopes the Philippine market will respond positively so partnerships can be forged between the two countries, especially in the field of rice.

“The Philippines is a big market in the region, so the rice trade requires us to meet and discuss in order to find ways to do business. They start to talk to explore the possibilities and opportunities for Cambodia with each other. It takes time and some conditions that are appropriate for both countries,” Saran said.

“They are working. Tomorrow, I will also meet the Philippines, so we hope to have the opportunity to bring Cambodian rice to the Philippines in the future,” he added.

Theng Savoeun, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community (CCFC), told Kiripost that this is an opportunity for the rice sector and the export of food in Cambodia. If trade increases, it can lead to more jobs and an increase in income for farmers.

“We hope that the state will think about some of the challenges along with the opportunities and can also consider the capacity building of farmers or producers. In Cambodia, on processing, packaging and guaranteeing the quality of cultivation,” Savoeun said.