Cambodia is being considered as a site for halal food production and rice milling by the United Arab Emirates, according to the UAE’s Foreign Trade Minister Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi yesterday.
Speaking during an official meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace, she said her visit was to look into Cambodia’s potential for investment.
Sheikha Lubna also said she will lead the delegation back to Cambodia in May 2013 for specific investment plans she had been discussing with Cambodian counterparts during her first trip.
The Prime Minister expressed the support for investment plans from the UAE and said Cambodia’s rice sector is flourishing. He said the two-way trade between the countries will grow even more in the future.
As for the initial plan for halal food production, Hun Sen said Cambodia is rich in raw materials for the production of halal food products and this will create more jobs for not only Cambodia’s Muslim community but for the whole Cambodian work force.
Othsman Hassan, secretary of state for the Ministry of Labour, and Muslim representative in Cambodia, said that Cambodia has a Muslim population of around 800,000.
On Monday, Sheikha Lubna also met with the Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh, who said that Cambodia is working with Malaysia on the initiative and that he hopes the UAE will help.
“We are now in negotiations on how to set up a halal food production system. So we will co-operate with them and there will be trilateral co-operation," he said.
“If we can co-operate with each other, we will bring technical experts from Malaysia to Cambodia and then we will export back to Malaysia as well as to the United Arab Emirates,” said Cham Prasidh.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]