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Following an agreement on quality control signed on June 9 by Cambodia and China, more Cambodian mangoes will be exported to China.
PHNOM PENH--Cambodia will be able to export roughly 500,000 metric tons of fresh mangoes to China, according to the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries. The announcement came on Tuesday (June 9) at a ceremony for a phytosanitary protocol signing between Cambodia’s Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon and Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.
The phytosanitary protocol works as a guarantee of quality in regards to agricultural products and meeting export standards.
“Through this protocol, we hope Cambodia will be able to gradually export fresh mangos to Chinese market, which will bring about great benefits for our farmers, farm owners as well as business people,” said Sakhon, according to his Facebook post.
Cambodia can export 500,000 metric tons of high-quality mangoes to the Chinese market every year, the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia said, although Sakhon noted that Cambodia has the capacity to produce nearly 1.5 million metric tons of fresh mango annually.
Cambodia over the past year had difficulties meeting the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements due to the ongoing use of pesticides and bug issues.
As of June 5, some 20 mango farms owners have applied to register their plantations, with 21,286 hectares of mango trees, as well as packaging facilities, to be inspected and evaluated in order for them to be eligible to export the produces, Sakhon explained.
Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian congratulated Cambodia on meeting the technical requirements to export fresh mangoes to China’s market, saying that this highlights a robust level of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in every sector, but particularly agriculture.
“Of course, the exports of Cambodian agricultural produce to Chinese market in the future will spur the country’s economic growth, which has been hampered by novel corona virus pandemic, to recover soon as textile sector has been significantly declining,” Wang said, adding that he hopes both countries will reach more protocols on other agricultural produce export in the future.
According to the World Bank’s estimates on May 29, Cambodia's economy in 2020 is expected to record its slowest growth since 1994, contracting by between -1 percent and -2.9 percent.
Prime Minister Hun Sen also immediately sent out a message through his Facebook page to praise the new milestone achieved by Cambodia and China in opening up the market for Cambodian agricultural products.
“Through the mango exports to China, it will provide our people with more jobs and more income as our country has faced challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hun Sen said.
In the same signing ceremony, Sakhon also took the opportunity to call on business community and relevant stakeholders to grab what he called golden opportunity in order to fuel economic growth as well as create more jobs and reduce poverty.
Economic cooperation between Cambodia and China has been exponentially increased over the past years, with China becoming by far the kingdom’s largest trading partner, and trade volume reached $6.6 billion in 2018.
In addition to mangos, Cambodia has already exported rice, dried cassava chips and bananas to China and expected to export pepper, longan, grapefruits as well as durians. Last year, it exported up to 130,000 tons of yellow bananas to China.