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PHNOM PENH – Prime Minister Hun Sen wants to increase Cambodia’s exports of milled rice to Singapore, and called on the Cambodian Ambassador in the city-state to facilitate marketing and economic connections with the country.
Singapore is ASEAN’s smallest country by size with little or no land at all devoted to agriculture.
Despite its population of 5.66 million, the country receives millions of visitors each year – a total of 6.31 million in 2022 – which increases local demand for food.
Most of Singapore’s food supply is imported from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Japan.
According to U.N. Comtrade Database, Singapore imported a total of 381,676 metric tonnes of rice in 2021, worth over $255 million.
Of those, Cambodia appeared to be a minor supplier, with only 5,900 metric tonnes being exported to the city-state, which accounted for $4.34 million, according to the same source.
But Hun Sen wants Cambodia to have a bigger share of the cake and bets on tourists visiting Singapore to increase the country’s exports, he said in a speech he gave to factory workers in Pursat province on June 30.
“I want to enable Cambodia to export our delicious milled rice to Singapore. This ambition of mine is not to only let the Singaporean consume our milled rice, but also to have the tourists in Singapore enjoying the rice too because our rice is ranked as the No. 1 [in the world],” the prime minister said.
To do so, he called on the Cambodian Ambassador in Singapore to accelerate economic cooperation with the country to increase the exports of milled rice and other agricultural products.
In the first five months of this year, Cambodia exported 278,184 metric tonnes of milled rice to 49 markets, generating $190 million in revenue.
The country also exported more than 2.1 million tonnes of paddy rice – of which 1.37 million tonnes went to Vietnam – worth about $545 million.
Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Meng Seavmey for Cambodianess.