Unprocessed rice imports from Cambodia eyed by Philippines
Cambodian unprocessed rice eyed for import by Philippines. File Photo

Asean Business Advisory Council Chair for the Philippines and Go Negosyo founder Jose Maria A. Concepcion III said the Philippines is mulling over importing rice from Cambodia.

“Cambodia is a big exporter of rice, but it goes through Vietnam for processing,” said Concepcion.

“Our suggestion is import so that the Philippine companies can process the rice,” he added.

In a news statement issued by Go Negosyo on Tuesday, Concepcion shared that Cambodian businessmen were receptive to the idea, and even offered technology exchange between the two countries. “Cambodia is very good at growing rice, and we could learn from them,” the Go Negosyo founder added.

“Agriculture in particular, was revealed as a promising area of cooperation between the two countries. Cambodia produces rice, but Vietnam—which is a major exporter of rice to the Philippines—has the biggest production by hectare,” Go Negosyo said.

Further, it said that several expansion and export opportunities in Cambodia for Philippine companies were explored during the CEO Roundtable meeting held on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Phnom Penh last November 10.

The CEO Roundtable meeting was attended by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President George T. Barcelon, LT Group’s Mike Tan, Go Negosyo senior adviser Josephine Romero, and the Philippine winners of the Asean Business Awards 2022.

Go Negosyo said aside from agriculture, other areas of cooperation that the meeting was able to identify were on housing, digitalization, food security, hospitality, garments manufacturing, business process outsourcing (BPO), and micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) development.

In his intervention during the event, Marcos stressed the importance of international cooperation to prevent regional food shortage.

“It has become glaringly clear that there is a dire need to strengthen food security towards self-sufficiency in our region, to increase adaptability and resilience in the face of threats to the global supply chain,” the President said.

Marcos is the concurrent Agriculture Secretary of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, during the meeting, the Philippine group invited the Cambodian businessmen to invest in the Philippines and partner with the Philippine businesses.

“SMEs from the Philippines—namely, FELTA Multimedia, Home Healthlink and Esquire Financing—who were also winners of the Asean Business Awards, said that they are looking for partners to expand both in the Philippines and within Asean. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Cambodian garments industry association commended during the meeting the logistics support from Philippine cargo and mobility facilities, namely Philippine Airlines [PAL],” Go Negosyo said in its statement.

According to Go Negosyo, the Cambodian businessmen shared that PAL helped them not only with cargo, but also with the transport of the designers and other technical people between the two countries.

Further, it said that the Philippines and Cambodia are also together in a campaign to get their respective garments exported at zero rates in the United States’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) so that these may be imported by US brands at zero, or near zero duty. Business Mirror.com.ph

Date: 16-Nov-2022