Chinese company Ratelong Inc has plans to build a rice research facility and set up an eco-tourism business in Mondulkiri, after the proposal was welcomed by the minister of commerce earlier this week.
The company, which according to the Ministry of Commerce’s website has a wide portfolio of businesses – from exports to advertising and construction – will now submit a proposal to the Council for Development of Cambodia, according to ministry spokesman Ken Ratha.
“However, Minister Chanthol expressed his welcome and support to interest expressed by the company in investing in Cambodia,” Ratha added, declining to add further details on the proposal.
Yang Sang Koma, president at the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) said research in the rice sector was needed given the sector’s importance, but didn’t have any specific details about the proposed project.
However, he added that support should be extended to existing research facilities, rather investing in a new one.
“I don’t know what a world-class rice research facility means?
The quality of rice in Cambodia is already world-class,” he said.
Ho Vandy, managing director of World Express Tours and Travel, said if the project were to go through, it would be the first Chinese company to invest in eco-tourism in Cambodia.
“Normally, eco-tourism is created by local people in cooperation with some NGOs.
If it really happens, this is a good sign for tourism sector in Cambodia,” he added.
“Mondulkiri province [is a high] potential place for eco-tourism.”
Minister of Tourism Thong Khon in 2013 said that the northeastern region, where Mondulkiri is located, has great potential for ecotourism development.
Tourism figures in May 2013 showed Chinese tourists visiting Cambodia at over 289,000, second only to Vietnamese tourists with a little less than 400,000 tourists.