At a meeting on Thursday, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon expressed his support for an investment project led by Chinese company Khmer Holding Group (KHG) to grow medicinal plants as raw materials.
The project, which will include the construction of a research institute and medical refinery factory, is expected to create jobs for locals while reducing Cambodia’s reliance on imports.
At the meeting with KHG representatives, Sakhon said: “We welcome the aim to invest in establishing a research institute and the planting and refining of medicinal plants in Cambodia.
“It will create jobs for locals, increase income and reduce imports of medical drugs,” he said.
Sakhon advised the company to study the location and size of land needed for growing and processing such medicinal plants.
He also suggested the company communicate with the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia to establish a dialogue with the government, including the ministry, so it can cooperate fully and comprehensively on the project.
The agriculture minister also requested the delegation to set up a technical working group in cooperation with the Forestry Administration and the General Directorate of Agriculture to study the possibility of cooperating with forestry and agricultural communities to cultivate the plants.
The group would also research companies with economic land concessions that have not been developed to see if they could be viable partners in the project.
Ministry spokesman Srey Vuthy could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
KHG representative Cao Yunde said at the Thursday meeting that he would seek the ministry’s cooperation and support to set up the research and development institute for medicinal plants.
Cao said he would also seek assistance from the ministry to establish a factory and finding arable land for the plants. The project, he noted, is funded by the Chinese government.
Cao said his company accepted Sakhon’s recommendation to prepare a roadmap before signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the future.