Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia asks China to double rice quota

Cambodia asks China to double rice quota

Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak (left) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart, Gao Hucheng, during a meeting yesterday at the Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied
Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak (left) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart, Gao Hucheng, during a meeting yesterday at the Ministry of Commerce in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Cambodia asks China to double rice quota

Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak lobbied his visiting Chinese counterpart, Gao Hucheng, yesterday to consider doubling Cambodia’s annual rice export quota to China while also proposing a host of agricultural trade agreements.

In a press release following a meeting, Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce said the Chinese government would consult with its relevant agencies to push for up to a 97 per cent tariff reduction scheme that provides duty- and quota-free access to Asia’s largest economy “as soon as possible”.

China will also consider increasing the export quota on Cambodian rice to 200,000 tonnes starting in 2017, as well as continuing to negotiate on the exports of broken rice, banana, mango, longan, cashew nut, pepper, coffee and soybean. The current export quota on rice to China is 100,000 tonnes per year.

Ministry spokesperson Soeng Sophary stressed that while the talks were fruitful, no official decisions were made.

“China accepted our suggestions for consideration,” she said, adding that she hoped they would not be rejected. “Once China agrees on any point that Cambodia suggests, we will be ready to sign with them.”

David Van, local managing director of Bower Group Asia, said in order to secure trade deals Cambodian agricultural products need to adopt China’s strict sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) protocols – a longtime barrier for the Kingdom’s exports.

“They can give us duty and quota free access, but they might still strictly control SPS,” he said. “If that is so, we still will not be able to export to their country until we improve our products.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Smith calls for ‘release’ of Sokha as visit ends

    At a press conference to conclude her 11-day visit to Cambodia, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith on Thursday called for treason charges against former opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped and for him to be released from “restricted detention”.

  • PM denies ‘nepotism’ claims

    Prime minister Hun Sen denied on Thursday that nepotism was involved in the recent promotions of the children of senior government officials. He said they had been “trained” and were entirely capable of carrying out their duties while being open to “punishment” like anyone else.