Cambodia is in talks with several Asian and Middle Eastern governments to receive as much as $3bn in agricultural investment in return for millions of hectares in land concessions, according to a senior government official.
The initial welcome given to rich countries’ investment in African farmland by agricultural and development officials has faded as the first ventures prove to be heavily weighted in favour of the investors. The FAO warned of such a trend when it said this year that the race to secure farmland overseas risked creating a “neo-colonial” system.
Yang told the Philippine President that they are eyeing a 10,000-hectare land in Davao del Sur as possible site for their planned laboratory where they will conduct tests on the viability of growing traditional Chinese herbs, the main ingredient of JKG medicines.
Margarito B. Teves, Finance Secretary of the Philippines, spoke to Gulf News about the potential for joint investment initiatives between the UAE and the Philippines. "The UAE can count on the Philippines as a reliable supplier of food products permissible under Sharia."
China is looking at the Philippines to meet its domestic food and energy requirements even as the Chinese economy is being restructured into an enormous assembly hub of manufactured goods for the American, Japanese and European markets.
Alarmed by exporting countries’ trade restrictions, importing countries have realised that their dependence on the international food market makes them vulnerable not only to an abrupt surge in prices but, more crucially, to an interruption in supplies.
The Arabian Peninsula is currently flooded with petrodollars, giving the Gulf Arabs a wide array of investment options abroad. But while these countries are winners in the oil market, they are losers in the food market. As a result, the Gulf Arabs - with Saudi Arabia at the fore - are pursuing a strategy to buy their food security through overseas agribusiness investment.