Expand Agriculture Export Markets: PM

Expand Agriculture Export Markets: PM. Photo: STPM/Facebook

PHNOM PENH – Expanding markets for Cambodian exports is important but fighting to maintain existing markets is also crucial, Prime Minister Hun Manet has told Agriculture Ministry officials. 

He called for product quality to be maintained and told officials to focus on searching for specific demand rather than offering products few people want.

Addressing the closing ceremony of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ annual meeting on Jan. 30, Hun Manet said negotiation with other countries to open new markets for Cambodian products is one thing but it is crucial to keep existing markets by maintaining standards, amounts of supply and trust on products.

He said that when it comes to agricultural produce, it is a must to follow export standards and guidelines.

The PM said it doesn’t make sense if there is a market but no product which can be exported. 

Cambodia has signed free trade agreements with China, South Korea and United Arab Emirates as well as joined regional agreements including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The PM said that the country is negotiating free trade agreements with other countries.

“There are more than 200 countries. Most of them are also agricultural product exporting countries. That means there are many competitors,” he said.

“We need to determine targeted countries for exporting, our product destination.”

Hun Manet said that a strategic group, called “trading board”, had been established to work on trade relations with other countries and to open doors for agricultural products as well as attract foreign investment. 

Such investment not only allows Cambodia to export more but also promotes local products through contract farming in which a company buys products from farmers, he said. Exporting processed products would add more value than exporting raw products. 

“This is our direction set out for our agriculture,” the PM said.

In 2023, Cambodia earned $4.3 billion dollars from the export of agricultural products with 8.45 million tonnes to about 75 countries and regions. Rice, rubber, cassava, mangoes, fresh bananas, pepper, cashew nuts, longan, corn, and palm oil are among key exports.

China, Vietnam and Thailand are the major importers.

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