Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - MoUs signed in hopes of boosting rice exports to China

MoUs signed in hopes of boosting rice exports to China

A rice farmer gathers rice grains for sale after harvest season in Battambang province.
A rice farmer gathers rice grains for sale after harvest season in Battambang province. Heng Chivoan

MoUs signed in hopes of boosting rice exports to China

The Cambodian government signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with three giant Chinese state-owned institutions yesterday, creating partnerships intended to boost the production of Cambodian paddy rice and milled rice for export, according to a release from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The first of the two MoUs outlines a government-to-government arrangement to further open market access and facilitate growth of Cambodian rice exports to China, the Kingdom’s single largest rice importer, while the second deal provides technical assistance intended to enhance the Kingdom’s rice warehouse and storage infrastructure.

“This project is designed to resolve the challenges in the Cambodian rice sector to ensure long-term sustainability, and to address these issues systematically and comprehensively,” the statement said.

The statement did not provide financial details on the value of either of the deals, but did say that the Cambodian government will seek concessional loans from China to implement the projects.

Officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Commerce represented Cambodia yesterday, as they signed the first deal with both the Export-Import Bank of China and CITIC Group Corporation and signed the second deal with both CITIC and a Chinese consortium called Henan Yuguang International Economic & Technical Cooperation.

According to a report released last week, Cambodia has exported 142,768 tonnes of milled rice to China so far this year, a 59 percent increase from the same period last year accounting for nearly one-third of the country’s total rice exports in 2017.

Cambodia is expected to export a total of 200,000 tonnes of rice to China by the end of the year, and hopes to increase its exports to the country by 50 percent in 2018.

Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice Cambodia, whose company recently obtained a $5 million loan from the government to build a massive storage and drying facility in Kampong Thom province, said yesterday that these MoUs represent positive government initiatives.

Despite unmet local demand for paddy rice, Saran said that there is an annual outflow of about 4 million tonnes of paddy rice to other countries during harvest season because of the industry’s inability to process the rice locally.

“Having enough warehouse and storage infrastructure will help prevent the outflow of paddy rice, especially fragrant rice, to our neighbouring countries during harvesting seasons,” he said, adding that this will ensure food security especially in the event of a natural disaster.

“China is a potential market for a lot of Cambodian products, including many other agricultural crops,” he added. “We can build our Cambodian brand in the Chinese market via rice for now, and hopefully this will open the door for other agricultural products later.”

Mey Kalyan, senior adviser for Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC), said yesterday that the Kingdom has been in need of greater infrastructure in the rice industry for a long time.

“Implementing these projects will take some time,” he said. “But we greatly welcome the MoU agreements made today, and we hope that these projects will be implemented sooner rather than later.”

Updated Tuesday 14 November, 7:05am.

MOST VIEWED

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • Nearly 50 states join Kun Khmer Federation, all set for training

    In a little over a week, the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) has accepted membership requests from 20 new nations, in addition to the exiting 29. The sudden influx of international recognition stems from the Kingdom’s successful introduction of Kun Khmer to the 32nd Souheast Asian (

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports