Cambodian government officials and private sector leaders have met with Chinese officials to negotiate a US$200 million loan for the development of Cambodia’s rice sector, an official said on Tuesday.
Cambodian delegates and investors with ties to the rice sector are now in China negotiating with the Chinese side to get the loan from the Chinese Import-Export Bank, said Son Kun thor, President of the Rural Development Bank.
The new loan would focus on the development of the agricultural sector, primarily the construction of rice-milling factories and improvements of cultivation techniques.
Now surveys are being done to assess where the funds would be best placed, he said.
The $200 million will go entirely to the rice sector but the conditions have not yet been “clearly discussed”.
The final decision rests with the Cambodian and Chinese governments, he said.
The Federation of Cambodian Rice Miller Associations said the federation is working with government officials on this issue and to insure that the loan proceeds, said Phou Puy, president of the federation.
Up to $200 million would be put into the rice sector within reach of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s goal of one million tonnes of rice exported to the global market by 2015, he said.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in early Febuary between Finance and Economy Minister Keat Chhon and Chinese Import-Export Bank President Li Ruogu.
The MoU was signed to aquire a $300 million loan to develop infrastructure and irrigation systems in the Kingdom.
Chinese government loans have so far reached almost $1.82 billion in Cambodia.
The loan will help to develop and improve Cambodia’s agricultural sector, but it is not really enough said Yang Saing Koma, President of CEDAC, an agricultural NGO.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]