Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina led a meeting to discuss a new economic hub in northwestern Cambodia at the agriculture ministry on March 10.

Speaking to the meeting attendees, Tina said that the meeting was held to collect crucial input to make a new economic hub, which will help facilitate the import and export of agricultural products between Cambodia and China.

He said that the hub would also drive economic growth based on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules and the sustainability of the economy and the environment.

The minister instructed all sub-sectors in agriculture to study the potential and geographical indication (GI) of the products in their purview, and review trade rules among members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The minister also mentioned the import of fertilizer and agricultural pesticides from China.

He told working groups in each sub-sector to prepare project requests under the economic hub project in the northwestern region by setting short, medium and long term goals and linking them to the “fish and rice corridor” with the goal of economic efficiency within 10 years. Their request would be submitted to the government for approval.

Cambodia intends to create a fourth “economic hub” in the northeastern region, which typically refers to the quartet of Kratie, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri and Ratanakkiri provinces.

Cambodia and China are also looking at establishing a “fish and rice corridor” in northwestern Cambodia, particularly in the Tonle Sap Lake area, to develop modern ecological agriculture near Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake.