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Deal signed with China over banana exports

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Motorists carry bananas along National Road 1 last year. Heng Chivoan

Deal signed with China over banana exports

The Kingdom on Thursday signed a joint phytosanitary protocol for banana exports to China, with officials saying this was the first move in promoting the product on the world stage.

The agreement was signed by the Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo and Agriculture Minster Veng Sakhon, who said: “It [the agreement] will open the door for Cambodia to export more agriculture products to the world’s largest market.”

Cambodia saw its first banana export to China last year by Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) from its plantations in Ratanakkiri province.

The company transported fruit overland to port facilities in Vietnam and then they were loaded onto a container ship bound for its buyer in China.

HAGL is a Vietnamese conglomerate that operates in the property, mining, commercial agriculture and hydropower sectors.

The company owns a total of 1,000 hectares of banana plantations in northeastern Cambodia through three of its subsidiaries – Hoang Anh Andong Meas, Hoang Anh Romphat and Hoang Anh Daun Penh Agrico.

The People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador to Cambodia Ziong Bo said the move would be an opportunity for the Kingdom to ship more products to that country.

“We will continue to strengthen our cooperation and hope that more Cambodian products will be exported to China,” he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture said bilateral trade between Cambodia and China increased to $5.8 billion last year from $4.7billion in 2016 – a 21 per cent rise.