Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - National silk board planned

National silk board planned

National silk board planned

8 Koh Dach silk

A national silk board (NSB) under the Ministry of Commerce is being planned to weave tighter regulations into the Kingdom’s silk industry, the lack of which has deterred investors and hurt its export potential, according to industry representatives.

Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh said last week that he aims for the NSB to be ready after the Kingdom’s general elections in late July. The NSB hopes to look into areas such as creating a certification process to boost the quality of silk produced, coordinating public-private partnerships, and collating information related to the industry.

“Right now, we have silk in one of the important points in the Trade Sector Wide Approach,” he said. The Trade Sector Wide Approach, known as Trade SWAp, is an initiative implemented by the government in 2008 to boost trade development in Cambodia.

“After we approve these strategies [from the initiative] we will organise the NSB to lead and develop Khmer silk for exporting,” he added.

An NSB adviser, Pheanuroth Sisowath, said: “Nowadays, there are no investors in this sector at all,” because there is no framework to ensure the quality of silk products.

With the NSB, the government can show their commitment to the silk industry, which will attract more investors, added Sisowath, who is also a senior technical adviser with the International Trade Center (ITC), a UN-backed agency that will help to implement the NSB.

According to an ITC report in 2012, Cambodia has about 20,000 silk weavers,  with the majority of whom are women, contributing $25 million annually to the Kingdom’s GDP.

Boosting the silk industry would therefore also empower females, said Suon Prasith, program manager with the Kingdom’s Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), which is funding the new initiative.

The EIF is a multi-donor program under the World Trade Organisation, which supports least developed countries to be more active players in the global trading system. It has set aside $1.4 million to promote the silk sector.

In a meeting earlier this year to discuss the establishment of NSB, secretary of State for Ministry of commerce, Pan Sorasak, said that the NSB would “boost and enhance Cambodian silk in order to reduce poverty reduction and promote the standard of living of the people”.

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National