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Commerce Minister Seeks More Ideas on Rice Export


Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol attends a rice branding event hosted by the United Kingdom embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 28, 2015. (Photo: Hean Socheata/ VOA Khmer)

Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol attends a rice branding event hosted by the United Kingdom embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 28, 2015. (Photo: Hean Socheata/ VOA Khmer)

Cambodia has a goal set by Prime Minister Hun Sen to export 1 million tons of rice each year.

Cambodian Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol says the country’s rice has a branding problem. With better branding, he told a group of officials at a roundtable recently, more rice would sell.

Cambodia has a goal set by Prime Minister Hun Sen to export 1 million tons of rice each year. Currently, it exports 370,000 tons. Much of that goes to the EU, under the “everything but arms” tariff benefit.

At the roundtable, hosted by the British Embassy and Commerce Ministry, officials discussed ideas to increase that number. Aside from branding, officials discussed better governance, a stronger private sector and more support for farmers.

Lord David Puttnam, the UK’s trade envoy, said a strong brand, clear label and consistent supply of quality rice would find a market.

Supply is “pivotal to big buyers, big retailers, and big wholesalers,” he said. “That means the supply chain has to be very disciplined, because if one person cheats, you can destroy all the reputation you created.”

Sun Chanthol said he would push for better branding in the private sector. “If they recognize it,” he said, “they’ll say, ‘Hey, this is a premium product.’”

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