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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cambodia's Exports of Rubber Latex See Sharp Rise in First Half

Cambodia has seen 84 percent rise in the exports of rubber latex in the first half of this year, compared with the same period a year ago, according to the statistics from the Commerce Ministry's Camcontrol Department, which is the government's Import-Export Inspection Agent, on Wednesday.

The data recorded that from January to June this year, the country had exported a total 21,511 tons of rubber latex, 84 percent rise from 11,665 tons at the same period last year.

The country earned the total revenues of 102 million U.S. dollars during the first half of this year, 234 percent rise from 30.5 million U.S. dollars it earned within the same period last year, it added.

A ton of good quality rubber latex is about 4,475 U.S. dollars now, up from about 3,450 U.S. dollars at this time last year, Mok Kim Hong, the president of the Chub Rubber Plantation in Kampong Cham province, said Wednesday.

Cambodia's rubber latex has been exported to Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Currently, the country has grown approximately 181,450 hectares of rubber plantations, most of them are young crops, which have not yet yielded.

Rubber plantations are found grown mostly in the provinces of Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Kratie and Preah Vihear.

Vietnam is the leading country investing in rubber plantations in Cambodia with up to 100,000 hectares of concessional land from Cambodian government for this crop.
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N. Korea wants to buy Cambodian rice, invest in mining

PHNOM PENH, July 27 (Reuters) - North Korea wants to import Cambodian rice to try to ease food shortages and has offered in return to provide machinery and expertise to develop Cambodia's fledgling mining and energy sectors, a Cambodian official said on Wednesday.

A North Korean delegation led by Deputy Trade Minister Ri Myong-san visited Cambodia this week and the country is keen to import rice as soon as possible, said Ouch Borith, Cambodia's secretary of state for foreign affairs.

It would help Cambodia develop its mining sector and invest in hydropower dams.

It would help Cambodia develop its mining sector and invest in hydropower dams.

The amount of rice North Korea wanted to import was not disclosed, he said. Further specific details, such as how North Korea would fund its purchases and investments, were not available.

Cambodia is the world's 15th biggest producer of rice and has set a target of exporting 1 million tonnes of the grain within the next four years.

According to the Economic Institute of Cambodia (EIC), an independent think tank, the country is expected to ship about 100,000 tonnes of milled rice this year, up from 50,000 tonnes in 2010. More goes to Vietnam to be milled and shipped from there.

North Korea is one of the world's poorest countries and it rarely produces enough food to feed its 24 million people, often as a result of bad weather affecting harvests.

International sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme combined with neighbouring South Korea's refusal to provide help have led to a substantial decline in food aid from its traditional donors.

Although Cambodia and North Korea have no trade ties, they have a diplomatic relationship. Cambodia's former King Norodom Sihanouk has a house in North Korea and was once a special guest of the country's late ruler, Kim Il-sung.

Ouch Borith said North Korea had offered to sell agricultural machinery to Cambodia, such as tractors, at cheaper prices than Western countries and wanted to provide expertise in developing mines.

"We have only small and medium-sized enterprises, not big industries, but Cambodia's natural resources are huge, such as minerals, gold, iron and aluminum," he told reporters.

"Our friends the Koreans said they would do studies and use their experience to help Cambodia make an industry from these natural resources."

Agriculture forms the biggest part of Cambodia's $10 billion economy, followed by tourism and garment manufacturing, but it is also trying to develop its energy and mining sectors.
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Cambodia, DPRK sign deal to speed up implementation of economic, trade cooperation

PHNOM PENH, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday signed an agreement to boost the implementation of economic and trade cooperation.

The deal was inked between Ouch Borith, secretary of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Ri Myong San, visiting DPRK's vice-minister of foreign trade, after the first Cambodia-DPRK Joint Commission meeting on economic, trade, scientific and technical cooperation. After the signing ceremony, Ouch Borith told reporters Cambodia and DPRK have signed seven cooperation agreements since 1993.

They include the agreement on economic, trade, cultural and technical cooperation, trade exchange deal, investment protection deal, Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between Cambodia and DPRK foreign ministries, IT joint committee establishment agreement, cultural exchange cooperation, and water way transportation agreement.

"Even though all these agreements have been in place for nearly 20 years, the implementation of the agreements has not been materialized," he said. "Therefore, the deal we signed today is to boost the implementation of these agreements for the interests of the two countries' peoples."

Ouch Borith said that Cambodia has also seen DPRK as a potential market for Cambodian rice, corn, cassava and bean; in exchange, Cambodia expects to import agricultural machinery from DPRK.

On the investment side, Cambodia wants to see DPRK investors in small hydroelectric dams, agriculture, industry and mineral resources, he added.
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