Tropicam Fruit and Vegetable Co Ltd CEO Hun Lak, who recently accompanied agriculture minister Dith Tina to the annual Paris International Agricultural Show, said representatives from French businesses were very interested in Cambodia’s potential products and plan to visit the Kingdom in the near future to explore investment opportunities.

At the event, one of the world’s largest agricultural fair, Lak said the Cambodian and French sides also established links between growers, processors, producers, exporters and buyers to discuss and find new opportunities for international trade.

“The goal of the delegation, besides learning about the French market, is to find new investment partners in a bid to bring Cambodian products there, in particular the Kingdom’s 11 potential products that are agro-commercial crops and are suitable for export.

“In the past, our production was almost entirely exported to neighbouring countries and the Chinese market. Therefore, the delegation led by the agriculture minister aimed to find new markets, potential markets, how to export our processed and packaged products and find added value to export to the French market,” he said.

The delegates had discussions with French business representatives about whether Cambodia’s products can be exported to the French market and what the French private sector needs in order for Cambodian products to meet the desired standards. On the other hand, the Cambodian side also examined the possibility of importing some French products, such as apples and grapes.

“My company has sent to the French side samples of processed products, including peppercorns, dried mango, Phka Rumduol milled rice, cashew nuts and dried fish. We cannot export fresh products yet. The processed products are the most attractive due to the support of the Cambodian people living in France. People in [France] who consume Cambodian products all appreciate the taste and high quality,” Lak said.

Upon his return from the French fair, Tina said Cambodia needs to produce agricultural products that are up to France’s quality and safety standards to help provide high value-add and promote competitive opportunities on the international stage.

He has also pushed for the creation of a QR Code that can identify sources and supply routes to give confidence to buyers of agricultural products, both domestic and foreign.

“The visit to France is an opportunity to pave the way for the Cambodian private sector to bring high-quality and value-added agricultural products to foreign markets, as well as an opportunity for foreign investors to invest in Cambodia as well,” he said.