Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnam Rubber Group finishes construction on its $5.2M rubber factory

Vietnam Rubber Group finishes construction on its $5.2M rubber factory

Vietnam Rubber Group finishes construction on its $5.2M rubber factory

Vietnam Rubber Group has inaugurated its first latex processing plant in Cambodia, according to Vietnamese media reports.

The plant, which cost $5.2 million after two years of construction, was reportedly inaugurated in Ratanikkiri’s O’Yadav district on December 23 in a ceremony which included Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhay Ly, Vietnamese business weekly the Saigon Times reported on December 24.

The latex will be extracted from rubber trees planted on almost 45,000 hectares of rubber plantations in the border province, the Saigon Times said

The news comes as worldwide rubber prices fell 21 per cent from May to November, going from $94 to $74 per pound.

“Because of the news [of falling prices] circulating globally, somehow it’s going to slow down some of the investors [in Cambodia] who may consider investing in other crops like pepper,” said Men Sopheak, director-general of the Chop Rubber Plantation, one of Cambodia’s major rubber exporters.

However, while low rubber prices meant smaller rubber companies may scale back their investments, larger ones, such as VRG, could afford to invest for the long term, Sopheak said.

“VRG can afford to make these changes, because they are doing well for themselves [in Cambodia],” Sopheak said.

VRG’s new Cambodian plant will use entirely Vietnamese equipment, and marks VRG’s first foray into latex processing in Cambodia, according to an announcement on its website.

VRG could not be reached for comment.

No stranger to controversy, VRG was accused by NGO Global Witness in 2013 of “driving a land-grabbing crisis” in Cambodia and Laos, along with another Vietnamese rubber company, Hoang Anh Gia Lai or HAGL.

VRG announced this August a complaint resolution scheme which it said would resolve such disputes within 30 days.

In November, a government audit found the state-owned company had lost nearly $391 million in state funds in a five year-period, including $22.75 million from a Cambodian rubber plantation in Kratie.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the