China part­ner­ship to strengthen rice sec­tor

The Myanmar Times - - Business -

THE govern­ment yes­ter­day signed two mem­o­ran­dums of un­der­stand­ing (MoUs) with Chi­nese com­pa­nies to bol­ster lo­cal rice pro­duc­tion, build up stor­age in­fra­struc­ture and in­crease ex­ports.

An MoU on up­grad­ing rice pro­duc­tion was signed with the Ex­portIm­port Bank of China, which is also known as Exim Bank of China.

A sec­ond agree­ment – fo­cus­ing on the tech­ni­cal as­pects of in­creas­ing rice pro­duc­tion, such as the de­vel­op­ment, main­te­nance and op­er­a­tion of sec­tor­re­lated in­fra­struc­ture, was signed with CITIC Group Co­op­er­a­tion.

The agree­ments aim to solve struc­tural chal­lenges that limit the po­ten­tial of the Cam­bo­dian rice sec­tor, with an em­pha­sis on sus­tain­abil­ity, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased by the govern­ment.

The new part­ner­ship will re­sult in the de­vel­op­ment of 15 ware­house and si­los across 11 prov­inces. The en­vi­sioned ware­house and silo net­work will have the po­ten­tial to process up to 19,500 tonnes of rice per day and store nearly one mil­lion tonnes.

The MoUs also spec­ify the size of loans that will be taken to fi­nance the project.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial state­ment, farm­ers can use their own rice out­put as col­lat­eral to take out a loan.

As per the MoUs, the Chi­nese com­pa­nies will pro­vide tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance and guid­ance to help the king­dom boost its rice ex­ports to the Chi­nese mar­ket.

Kao Thach, the CEO of Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Bank, told Kh­mer Times the new agree­ments are part of a $300 mil­lion loan pro­gramme from China.

“It is a big project that the govern­ment has con­sid­ered for a long time.

“The loans will help sta­bilise the price of the com­mod­ity across the coun­try and re­duce rice sur­pluses,” Mr Thach said.

Song Saran, Amru Rice’s CEO, told Kh­mer Times yes­ter­day that the pri­vate sec­tor was sat­is­fied with the new agree­ments, adding that they will help reach the goal of ex­port­ing one mil­lion tonnes of rice.

“We sup­port the use of govern­ment ware­houses and si­los to store and process rice for ex­port. We will work with the Min­istry of Econ­omy and Fi­nance to im­ple­ment the project,” he said.

“We will still in­vest in our own ware­houses and si­los to help farm­ers that do not have ac­cess to rice milling fa­cil­i­ties in their area.”

Photo: Kh­mer Times

The new agree­ments aim to tackle some of the big­gest hur­dles in the lo­cal rice sec­tor.

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