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Philippine-Cambodian rice deal still on hold

Four months after the Philippines and Cambodia signed an agreement to increase rice trade, the plan is stuck in limbo.

Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia Noe Wong and Cambodian Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh signed a deal in April for the Philippine National Food Authority to import rice through the Cambodian state-owned enterprise Green Trade.

Thon Virak, Green Trade’s director, said yesterday that the company is waiting to schedule a meeting because relevant partners are busy preparing for the election.

“We are still waiting for the delegation from the Philippines to come here for a detailed discussion,” Virak said. “We plan to send the invitation letter to them, but need to wait for Cambodia’s new government to form after the national election.”

Last year, a similar agreement between Cambodia and the Philippines was also planned but could not be finalised after Cambodia reportedly delayed a decision to lower prices to levels the Philippines was demanding.

The Philippines aims to achieve rice sufficiency this year but is planning to import around 187,000 tonnes of rice for stocks.

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