Cambodia’s exports of agricultural products to Malaysia rose sharply last year compared to a year earlier, according to a press release from the Malaysian embassy to Cambodia, with milled rice and crude rubber accounting for most of the total.
“For 2012, total imports broke the $100 million mark. A major contributor to this sharp increase was the agriculture sector,” the release says.
Agricultural goods from Cambodia formed 79 per cent of total imports, which reached $101 million compared to $55.5 million the previous year.
Crude rubber was the major component, with a value of $69 million.
The release says that since Cambodia launched its Policy on the Promotion of Paddy Rice Production and Export of Milled Rice in 2010, Malaysia has taken a keen interest in diversifying rice import sources.
Milled-rice imports from Cambodia have consistently increased from $400,000 in 2010 to $9.5 million in 2011 and $24.3 million in 2012.
“Milled rice formed 19 per cent of total imports from Cambodia in 2012 and was the second-biggest import component after crude rubber,” the release says.
“The embassy foresees a positive growth in the milled-rice imports from Cambodia, subject to gradual development in quality and competitive pricing.”
According to data from the single-window secretariat for facilitating milled rice exports, Malaysia ranked top of the listed importers of Cambodian milled rice with nearly 7,000 tonnes of a total 25,726 tonnes shipped in January.
Hean Vanhorn, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and director of the single-window secretariat, told the Post last week he had noticed the sharp growth of exports to Malaysia.
In the first month of this year, Mal-aysia ranked at a good position for absorbing Cambodian milled rice, Vanhorn said.
Bilateral trade between the two countries rose more than 17 per cent last year to $376.1 million, compared to $320.5 million a year earlier.
Imports from Malaysia totalled $248.1 million, while exports to Mal-aysia were valued at $128 million, the release says.