The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) may soon strike a deal with Khmer Enterprise (KE) to work on the marketing and branding of Cambodian milled rice to reach a wider audience at international markets.

The two sides held a first meeting last week via video link to brainstorm ideas for a potential collaborative relationship to boost sales of the main linchpin of Cambodian agricultural exports.

Kim Sreyroth, CRF vice-president and chair of the federation’s Marketing and Export Promotion Executive Committee, said marketing and branding is very important to enhance the reputation and quality of Cambodian milled rice which is becoming increasingly recognised on the international market.

She lauded last week’s preliminary meeting as a positive for the Cambodian rice sector, saying the CRF is keen to work with KE.

“As a work in progress, the CRF will make proposals to KE on specific marketing and branding work, focusing on the main objective of expanding export markets to enhance the reputation of Cambodian products at home and abroad,” Sreyroth said.

KE is a start-up ecosystem support arm under the Ministry of Economy and Finance that helps improve the economic and commercial efficiency and effectiveness of local enterprises.

KE marketing and investment head Kong Somphyvatanak said the discussion was held to explore the possibility of joining forces to expand the Kingdom’s milled-rice export market.

The meeting focused on marketing and branding on the international stage, and delved into how to mainstream the reputation of quality Cambodian milled rice in a highly-efficient way, he said.

KE is very interested in the Cambodian rice market, he said, lauding the CRF’s work on the “Malys Angkor” brand of fragrant rice exports.

CRF secretary-general Lun Yeng, who also attended the meeting, told The Post on May 24 that the discussion merely paved the way for upcoming dialogue, with a formal decision on a partnership yet to be made.

Cambodia exported 192,495 tonnes of milled rice in the first four months of this year, representing a 107,757-tonne or 35.89-per-cent drop from the 300,252 tonnes posted in January-April 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The ministry estimated the value of the exports at nearly $161.7 million.