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Cambodia, Vietnam ink deal on rubber

Cambodia, Vietnam ink deal on rubber

CAMBODIA and Vietnam have jointly agreed to build a rubber processing plant in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed Tuesday, a government official said, adding that the initiative would help boost the Kingdom's exports.

“This MoU will ... help increase productivity of Cambodia’s rubber plantations, creating more jobs and higher profits to help alleviate rural poverty,” said Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Chan Sarun.

A location for the plant had not yet been decided, he said, but it would be developed alongside a rubber plantation by the Vietnam Rubber Group, a consortium.

In the MoU, Cambodia offered Vietnam a 100,000-hectare rubber concession likely to be distributed over sites in Mondulkiri, Rattanakkiri, Kampong Thom, Kratie and Preah Vihear provinces.

Cao Duc Phat, Vietnam’s minister of agriculture and rural development, said Tuesday morning that the deal would offer Vietnamese companies a chance to invest in Cambodian rubber.

This year Vietnam has already planted 10,000 hectares of rubber trees in Cambodia, he added, and plans to add 20,000 hectares in 2010, 30,000 hectares in 2011 and 40,000 hectares in 2012.

Chan Sarun said seven Vietnamese companies had already received government authorisation to claim rubber concessions, but that he hoped the number would soon grow to more than 10.

“This is a big project ... right now we lack an exact mechanism for accelerating this process, so we should form a committee to discuss the issue annually,” said Cao Duc Phat.

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