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Million-dollar machine sweetens outlook

machine sweeten

A worker is inspecting product in a local food producer Ly Ly Food Industry. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Local food producer Ly Ly Food Industry had invested about $1 million for a Chinese-made machine to improve production and food quality as it prepared for the coming regional economic community, the company’s owner said yesterday.

Keo Mom said a tremendous amount of goods from neighbouring countries would flow into the Cambodian market in 2015, when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is scheduled to be launched.

She said her company had imported the machine to increase efficiency.

The machine, which can process 100 tonnes of milled rice a month, had  arrived about a week ago. Mom said.

After an installation period of three months, a new “healthy cakes” line would be produced for local markets in the first stage, she said.

 After it conquers the Cambodian market, the company intends to enter neighbouring countries.

“The reason I decided to further invest is the country’s integration into the AEC,” Mom said, explaining that if a Cambodian company wanted to compete regionally, it couldn’t afford not to look for ways to improve its product.

Mom said she believed that the local market had enabled her to expand the business.  

“Before we made a decision to invest more in the business, we researched a lot and saw the strong potential market for investments that [make sense] financially,” she said.

Meng Saktheara, director-general of the General Department of Industry at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said many Cambodian-made products were superior in quality to imported goods.

Saktheara said products made in Cambodia had been displayed in supermarkets in other countries, encouraging other local producers to do the same.

But the process involved in exporting, including the complex paperwork and legal issues, could hamper efforts to compete in the AEC, he said.

“What’s important is the procedure for exporting, because if we’re talking about quality, Cambodian products are acceptable,” Saktheara said.

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