Plans to export five tonnes of semi-finished rattan product to Vietnam are facing difficulties as the government has not yet issued an export license.
The Cambodian Rattan Association signed a contract with a Vietnamese company to export the rattan product in April but the date has been delayed as the association is still waiting for government approval, specifically the Minister of Commerce, said Lib Cheang, President of the Cambodian Rattan Association and owner of Cambodian Rattan Craft Company.
Local demand for rattan is limited and Lib Cheang’s shop only needs to produce 20 pieces of furniture per month, but if demand increases, he will double production but if approval is given and he can export next year, it will double or triple the amount he produces he said.
Currently there are 11 rattan workshops in Phnom Penh and they require the import of raw materials from neighboring countries he said.
“Vietnam ordered semi-finished rattan products to make furniture for houses, office buildings, hotels and restaurants” he said.
Most rattan products are imported from Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom and Pursat provinces and the quality of the products is high if kept in shade, he said.
Rattan raw materials can not only support local markets but may become an export material in the future, Lib Cheang said.
Although plans to export semi-finished rattan-made furniture products are progressing slowly, a mid-July export date which he said is possible said Ou Rattana, president of the Cambodian Rattan Project under the World Wildlife Fund.
The quantity of rattan products in Cambodia is “a lot” but local demand is from 10 to 15 per cent, so there is a push for legal export he said.
Lib Cheang said that local demand for rattan furniture for last two years “seems” not to have increased.
This is because of large wooden-furniture imports from foreign countries he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Seun Son at [email protected]