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Palm sugar exports see 138pct rise

Kampong Speu palm sugar exports with geographical indication (GI) status have increased in the past year, as international buyers begin to appreciate the Cambodia-specific product.

Export volumes of the sugar reached 50 tonnes in 2014, according to Kampong Speu Palm Sugar Promotion Association’s (KSPSPA) president, Sam Saroeun. The increase represents a 138 per cent rise in exports compared with the 21 tonnes exported in 2013.

Kampong Speu palm sugar was granted the GI status in 2010 under the WTO’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

“We have more demand from our international buyers. Our products have become more recognised among consumers,” Saroeun said.

Saroeun said the KSPSPA was still in talks with a Korean firm that plans to build a 3,000- square-metre boiling facility capable of refining 300 tonnes of palm sugar per year to be exported to South Korea.

“The company will come for discussions with us again next year. They want to do some more research and they promised that the deal will happen.”

Kampong Speu GI palm sugar production currently stands at about 300 to 400 tonnes per year, while only 30 tonnes on average is exported.

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