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Kingdom needs better brand

Men demonstrate traditional rice-farming methods in Phnom Penh
Men demonstrate traditional rice-farming methods in Phnom Penh on Tuesday as precursor for the sixth annual World Rice Conference. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom needs better brand

Giving Cambodia a makeover was the focus at the sixth World Rice Conference, which was held yesterday at Phnom Penh’s Sofitel hotel.

Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol opened the day’s events calling for better branding of the Kingdom’s products and investment environment.

“We need to do two kinds of branding. One is to do branding on products, and another one is to do branding on our country’s image,” Chanthol explained.

“Don’t let others in the world only know that Cambodia has been victim to a genocide regime. Some people even ask if they should be afraid of stepping on landmines when they visit Cambodia. That is simply not the reality, so we need to promote and improve our country’s image.”

Chanthol cited a 30-minute Bloomberg television network program currently being made by production firm i-Profile Cambodia. He said that the program is aimed at changing the Kingdom’s image to a promising economy ripe for investment.

“I hope this project will be finished next year and will be hosted for two months on Bloomberg to show the new face of our country. It is not like what they have seen back in the 1970s.”

According to figures from the Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia's agriculture sector has attracted just 10 per cent of the country's approved investment since 1994.

Sok Puthyvuth, president of the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) rallied the commerce minister’s call for improving the Kingdom’s image in the global community and improving on the sectors investment figures.

“I know most of us have different questions and opinions of Cambodian rice, but again, it is all about branding,” he said. “Cambodia produces many types of rice. But the key is to produce one simple, singular brand for our rice so it is easily recognisable on the world stage.”

The World Rice Conference, which ends today, will include the announcement of the winners of the World’s Best Rice awards, of which Cambodia is the reigning champion.

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