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Kingdom exporter inks rice deal with Philippines firm

Domestic milled-rice wholesaler Mega Green Imex has inked a deal with a Philippine partner to send thousands of tonnes of the product to the Kingdom’s ASEAN neighbour early next year, according to a company official.

Mega Green Imex had signed an export agreement worth US$21 million with Philippines-based All Asia Encounter Trade in September, Mega Green managing director Renne Outh said yesterday.

He declined to give the exact tonnage of the deal between the two companies.

“The Philippines is the biggest milled-rice importer in the world: three million tonnes every year,” Outh  said.

“If we can get the Philippines as a market for our milled rice, it will be very good for us.”

Mega Green Imex will begin delivery from the end of February next year, according to Renne Outh.

The company already exported rice to the European Union, Russia and the United States, and had the capacity to supply 200,000 tonnes a year, he said.

That capacity would allow Mega Green to supply its new Philippine partner.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has called for the export of one million tonnes of milled rice by 2015, but experts have expressed doubt that Cambodia will reach that goal.

The country exported about 147,000 tonnes of milled rice in the first nine months of 2011, up from about 42,000 tonnes for all of 2010, according to Ministry of Commerce statistics.

Rural Development Bank president Son Koun Thor yesterday applauded the deal, but emphasised that certain problems continue to drag on Cambodia’s growth as a milled-rice exporter – namely, a lack of working capital and milling capacity.

“We all know that limitat-ions in capital for the industry remain the big challenge for local rice millers,” Son Koun Thor said.

“So we need more foreign investment in the industry because it is the government’s main priority sector,” he said.

The government would use its new rice export committees to help domestic rice exporters and millers, according to Son Koun Thor.

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