A local investor has spent nearly US$5 million setting up a rubber-processing factory in Kampong Cham, a key province in the Kingdom’s rubber production, for export rather than producing final products, an insider says.
Heng Sreng, the director of Long Sreng International, which was entitled to invest in a former state-run Boengket rubber plantation, said the decision to invest in the processing plant came after the company had planted almost all of the land.
He said the company still believed that investment in semi-final products processing had more potential than the final products rubber because the Cambodian brand name might not attract buyers in other countries.
“I raise an example: one motor tyre produced in Cambodia, one produced in Vietnam and one produced in Thailand. Which one will you [buy]? You take the Thai-made tyre.
“We can produce [final products], but the importance is a recognised market. That is our difficulty.
“Now we think about semi-product. [There is] no well-known brand, so we have difficultiy entering the market.”
He said the $5 million investment, including more than $1 million for the construction of workers’ houses, was in accordance with plans to harvest 800 hectares of new rubber trees next year.
The proccessing plant will be able to process five tonnes an hour; the old machinery could process about two tonnes an hour. The warehouse was enlarged from a 200-tonne to a 2000-tonne capacity.
According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia exported 39,360 tonnes of latex from January to September this year, up 12 per cent from 35,080 tonnes during the equivalent period last year.
Ly Phalla, director-general of the Cambodian Rubber Department, said the factory would contribute to enhance Cambodian rubber exports and there would be more such factories in the future.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]