Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - East Timor rice exports ready to roll

East Timor rice exports ready to roll

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
East Timor will soon begin importing Cambodian rice for the first time. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

East Timor rice exports ready to roll

Cambodia is prepared to export 30,000 tonnes of milled rice to East Timor soon, which will open a promising new market for the rice sector.

At an April 17 meeting with the Green Trade Company, under the Ministry of Commerce, and the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), Ambassador of East Timor to Cambodia Ermenegildo ‘Kupa’ Lopes proposed a plan for the Kingdom to start exporting rice to East Timor.

At a meeting with Lopes on Tuesday, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak said Cambodia was now ready to start the project.

He said: “Cambodia has already prepared 30,000 tonnes of rice for export to East Timor and has asked it for feedback.”

He also urged East Timor’s private sector to invest in a rice mill in the Kingdom.

Lopes said East Timor is intent on importing rice from Cambodia and added that East Timor could export crops to the Kingdom as well.

He also mentioned that his country could provide 3,000 fuel sector jobs to Cambodians.

CRF president Song Saran told The Post on Wednesday that Cambodia has enough white rice stockpiled to meet East Timor’s demand.

He said: “With the efforts of the Cambodian government, we hope that East Timor will become a new strong market for Cambodian rice exporters.”

He added that East Timor has never bought rice from Cambodia and historically relied on Vietnam to satisfy its demand.

CRF board chairman Hun Lak told The Post in April that East Timor had first offered to buy rice from Cambodia to prevent a food shortage due to Covid-19. The country has yet to specify an amount.

Lak said the government had requested East Timor to send a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation outlining the specifications of their order.

At a meeting with Lopes on May 27, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia wants East Timor to set up a representative office for its rice-purchasing companies in the Kingdom.

He said he wanted the companies to build warehouses, factories and silos as well as establish purchasing channels to facilitate rice exports to East Timor.

Rice export reports show that in the first five months of this year, Cambodia exported 356,097 tonnes of rice to the international market, a 42.34 per cent year-on-year increase.

Last year, the Kingdom exported 250,172 tonnes of rice worth $241 million.

East Timor imported 6,800 tonnes of rice in the first two months of this year, around 5,000 tonnes less than the year-ago period, Port Authority of Timor-Leste data shows.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to