More than a dozen Chinese companies inked deals to purchase about $526 million worth of agricultural products from Cambodian firms on Monday. The 34 agreements between 14 Chinese firms and 18 Cambodian firms were announced by the two country’s commerce ministries at a press conference in Phnom Penh, and a Cambodian Ministry of Commerce spokesman yesterday praised the deals as a good development for local exporters.
“Our main issue is the lack of markets,” said Seang Thai, a ministry spokesman. “Since we have this agreement, it will give us a sustainable market and help our farmers earn more income.” Past agreements with China in the agriculture sector have occa-sionally fallen through or failed to materialise.
Ngoun Meng Tech, director of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said he was optimistic the publicity surrounding Monday’s announcement would ensure the agreements were honoured this time.
“Trade agreements are always good sense, if we can enforce it smoothly; however most of trade agreements always face a lot of obstacles” he said. “Our experience so far has been that the exports still face a lot of obstacles to reach the Chinese market, which is strict about standards, quality and especially SPS [Sanitary and Phytosanitary].”