A trade facilitation manual aimed at increasing the size of Cambodia’s seafood products will be ready by April and looks to help producers and exporters improve their export readiness and take advantage of ASEAN integration.
At a workshop held yesterday in the capital, stakeholders discussed the progress of the UNIDO-led project, with the draft manual expected to outline export procedures, customs formalities and the requirements of importing countries, according to Ing Try, deputy director-general of the Fisheries Administration.
“The manual will play an important role and it will facilitate investors who plan to invest in the fisheries sector with information to certify their products, food standards and the protection of the environment and natural resources,” Try said.
The project, which was started in 2014 with assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, has a $1.3 million budget and is working with small and medium processors and exporters in the Kingdom’s four coastal provinces.
Shetty Seetharama Thombathu, the chief technical adviser for the project, said currently most exports were processed by small- to medium-sized businesses who have limited knowledge of export procedures and requirements.
“Most fish processors are trading informally to neighbouring countries without record, so the manual will provide them with formal export guidelines,” Thombathu said.
According to Thombathu, once a constructive environment for interaction between the public sector and fisheries stakeholders is created it will tackle issues of competitiveness and productivity.
“It will build the capacity of processors, traders and cooperatives to comply with the quality and safety requirements of the domestic market and importing countries,” he said.
Coastal fish yields dipped 5 per cent in 2015 to 46,830 tonnes, down from 2014’s 49,250 tonnes, due to fishermen turning to other forms of employment and habitat degradation.