The Phnom Penh Post | 18 June 2009
THE director of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said Wednesday that at least six Singaporean companies want to start joint ventures with Cambodian partners to invest in the Kingdom's underdeveloped agricultural sector.
"They want to invest in the sector because they believe that in the near future, they will face a food shortage, so they want to come here to process agricultural products and export them back to their home country and to supply the global market," said Nguon Meng Tech, the director of CCC.
He added that representatives from the Singaporean companies met him on Wednesday, and that they plan to meet with Cambodian investors in the near future.
"They are interested in the sector because we have plenty of farmland. We have political stability and economic growth, and they specialise in technology, so they can easily work with the sector," Nguon Meng Tech said.
Mong Reththy, one of Cambodia's most successful agricultural tycoons, said he would be meeting with the Singaporean business representatives, and that the partnership could potentially help both countries avoid a future food crisis.
"I am ready to cooperate with them because we have a lot of farmland with enriched soil for rice, corn, rubber or cassava," Mong Reththy said. "Presently, we should worry about the food crisis.
"We have a lot of farmland. The problems we are confronting now have to do with capital and technology, so when those [investors] want to cooperate with us, we can improve and increase our output," he said.
Mong Reththy added that presently his company only exports palm oil to foreign countries because of a lack of capital and processing technology for other products.
The government said Wednesday that foreign investment remains a priority to aid the development of agriculture, the country's largest sector."We welcome all foreign investors to invest in the agriculture sector because most local people lack the necessary capital and processing technology to export their yield," said Thon Virak, deputy director of the foreign trade department at the Ministry of Commerce.