Australian agribusiness SPC Global plans to expand its business into the Cambodian market and export locally-grown mango, rambutan, longan and dragon fruit.

To this end, SPC Global chairman Hussein Rifai and CEO Matthew McMichael paid a visit to Phnom Penh and Kampong Speu province from June 14-16 to look into the Kingdom’s opportunities for agricultural investment and trade, the Australian embassy said in a statement.

“The two-and-a-half-day visit allowed SPC Global to travel to Kirirom Food Production in Kampong Speu and LyLy Food Industry Co in Phnom Penh. They also met with four prominent agribusiness suppliers – Navita Food Production, Misota Food Cambodia, SHE Agrocam and Royal Trust,” it said.

“SPC Global’s visit is part of Australia’s efforts to strengthening agricultural ties with Cambodia. It was initiated following a successful meeting between SPC and Cambodian delegates during the CAPRED [Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development] Agri-food Industrial Park visit to Australia earlier this year.

“The visit also provided an opportunity to meet with key representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, and the Investment Agency of the Council for the Development of Cambodia,” it added.

SPC Global’s Rifai lauded the Kingdom as “an ideal country for us to find new agricultural opportunities – especially in fruits and vegetables that don’t grow or are currently unavailable in Australia.

“SPC can provide Australian food expertise and knowhow that will enable the development of innovative food products of the highest global quality while developing the agri-food industry in Cambodia.

“The agri-food sector is one of Cambodia’s key focus sectors and Australia is already supporting its development. We are grateful to CAPRED for bringing this opportunity to our attention and are already progressing discussions with a couple of the businesses they introduced to us,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Royal Academy of Cambodia economist Ky Sereyvath commented that SPC Global’s entry into the Kingdom could provide the domestic export-oriented agro-processing sector a sizeable leg-up.

“We can see that the Australian firm has a lot of experience with its sophisticated technologies, and we encourage them to set up processing facilities here to boost production while also adding value to the economy,” he said.

The embassy’s statement noted that the Victoria-based SPC Global has more than a century of experience in the processing and packaging of fruit and vegetable products, and already sources “some inputs from the region”.

“Between 2017 and 2022, Cambodia’s mango production increased by 160 per cent and dried fruit exports increased by up to 6,500 per cent. Cambodia has exceptional capacity for high value agricultural produce, including mango, banana, cashew, sweet potato, sesame, chillies and the world-famous Kampot Pepper,” it said.