The agricultural and agribusiness industry are in great spirits after the Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hungary on cooperation in the sector.
The MoU is expected to provide a shot in the arm for agricultural exports and allure more Hungarian investors to the Kingdom.
The agreement was inked by Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto on Tuesday at a ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Sakhon said Hungary’s agricultural sector plays a crucial role in the country’s economy, accounting for about eight per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
He described the adoption of agricultural technology, agricultural processing and water management as Hungarian success stories.
“The signing of the MoU will bring about fruitful development in the field of agriculture and agribusiness down the line, and the Cambodian side will effectively and effeciently implement its contents for the benefit of Cambodian society and people,” Sakhon said.
He listed three sub-sectors to offer for Hungarian investors – dairy production and meat processing; aquaculture; and crop growing and food security.
“Cambodia has the potential to invest in the production of crops for export, such as rice, mango, cassava, cashew and tobacco, as well as aquaculture,” he said.
Chan Pich, general manager of rice miller and exporter Signatures of Asia Co Ltd, told The Post that his company exported between 500-600 tonnes of fragrant milled rice to Hungary in the first 10 months of this year.
“The MoU will afford us more opportunities in the agricultural sector. The market in Hungary is also quite open for Cambodian milled rice, which is ordered in fixed quantities,” he said.
Thourn Sinan, former country director of the Hungarian Cambodian Trading House, said the MoU was a new step in bilateral cooperation with Hungary in promoting trade and investment relations.
He said: “This is a very good start given that Hungary is one of the agricultural powerhouses in Eastern Europe. If Cambodia could ramp up ties with the country, it would help our agriculture flourish, particularly in the area of food safety.
“This could be the lucky break for a number of Cambodian agricultural products to be shipped there, including pepper, sesame, soybeans or anything else they’re interested in.
“If we can ramp up quality and keep prices low, it’d be a bonafide opportunity.”
According to Sakhon, the Kingdom exported 1,839 tonnes of rice and 118 tonnes of tobacco to Hungary in the first 10 months of this year.