Chinese state councillor Liu Yandong (L) and Deputy Prime Minister Mem Sam An shake hands at the inauguration of the the China-Cambodia Food Industry Laboratory. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post
A new, high-end industrial food laboratory, which was built with funds provided by the Chinese government, was officially launched on Friday in an effort to enhance food quality, research and technology in the Kingdom.
The laboratory’s opening ceremony was presided over by Cambodia’s Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An and visiting Chinese state councillor Liu Yandong.
The ceremony took place at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh.
Men Sam An said that with support from the Chinese government, the laboratory will play a crucial role in improving the country’s food quality, adding that Cambodia was the first country in ASEAN to begin implementing the ASEAN-China Science and Technology Partnership Program (ACSTPP) since its launch in 2011.
“I do believe it will contribute to enhancing food quality and safety, related research and technology development,” she said.
“And the cooperation will help further enhance the capacity for Cambodian specialists and its private sector in the science and technology field, particularly small and medium food enterprises,” she said.
Liu Yandong said Chinese premier Wen Jiabao called for the establishment of the ACSTPP during the 14th ASEAN-China Summit in Indonesia in 2011.
Additionally, in September this year, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology officially started the program in order to enhance cooperation and exchange experiences in the development of the science and technology industries between ASEAN and China.
“This [China-Cambodia Food Industry Laboratory] is the first laboratory since the [ACSTPP] program was launched and it will contribute to the improvement of food quality and safety in Cambodia,” said Liu Yandong.
“The laboratory not only represents our cooperation in science and technology between Cambodia and China, but it also breaks ground for cooperation with ASEAN,” she added.
“I hope that the lab will become a model of cooperation between China and ASEAN.”
Chea Seang Hong, Cambodia’s vice minister for the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said the laboratory cost $465,000 and the Chinese government donated all the equipment and facilities as part of the first phase of a three year cooperation agreement.
He added that the inauguration of the laboratory is a good outcome from the implementation of the MoU signed in late September in Nanning province between the Ministry and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]