Visit and Interview Activity
Project “Capacity Building on Food Security in Agro-Processing Industry among Mekong Countries and People’s Republic of China” Supported by Mekong - Lancang Cooperation Fund, People’s Republic of China 7 - 10 August 2023, Kingdom of Cambodia

The Royal Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh
Cambodia’s local foods are quite similar to Thailand, therefore, there is a probability for developing processed food industries to promote the tourism industry. Currently, Cambodia has allowed 100% shareholder of foreign investment in various business sectors. The limitation is the small agricultural enterprises for exporting their products to the market as well as low level of investment R&D and product packaging. Thus, further development in small entrepreneurs in local areas is required in order to promote and develop skills in quality and hygiene products which include street food.

Department of Agro-Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Currently, the implementation of Agro-Industry of Cambodia is under the Strategy Plan 2019-2030. The major agricultural products are rice, black pepper, mango, bananas, corn, and vegetables while Cambodia’s cashew nut is ranking number one of the world. However, most entrepreneurs need processing technology, especially in remote areas. They mainly process only primary food without being able to maintain the products for long time and result in export limitation. Therefore, Cambodia still needs infrastructure support for quality control. Presently, the department of Agro-Industry is in cooperate with food safety institutions, Ministry of Industry, Private Sector and R&D Institute for research and development as well as contract farming with China and Korea.

Department of SME Planning and Development Promotion, Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation
Cambodia's MSME enterprises account for 99.8% nationwide in 25 provinces covering sector of agriculture, industry, service, and trade. The major agricultural products are mango, cashew nut, rice, tropical fruits, vegetables, and freshwater fish while MSME in food and beverage industries account more than 50%. However, entrepreneurs lack of skills and technology to produce quality products for export. Currently, Cambodia focuses on food safety, standardization, and nutrition for industrial development.

General Directorate of Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce
Cambodia is a major exporter of agricultural products for raw materials, packaging, processing technology, and skilled labor. Thus, Cambodia still needs to develop production such as machine, packaging, and quality monitoring, especially in agricultural and agro-processed products. Currently, Cambodia is developing factory sanitation and hygiene measures in order to reach agricultural industry development. Regulations and related trade measures are developing to create better verification and certification trade system. The challenges are transportation and electricity cost. Besides, investment in machinery and technology transfer are still required for industrial development.

Royal Group Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone
PPSEZ aims to attract foreign investors to establish a production base for Cambodia's labor-intensive industries through the investment promotion including tax and non-tax privileges. PPSEZ locates on Phnom Penh's outskirts with a good potential in transportation system through land, rail, and ship to neighboring countries. Currently, major foreign investors are Japan, China, Thailand, and Singapore with the top investment sectors are food and beverages, mainly produce for domestic consumption and distribution. The challenges for production include cost reduction in transportation, logistics, and electricity. Renewable or alternative energy and industrial clusters are also highlighted for development.

Meeting with MLC Alumni
Mr. Sok Phyra, Deputy Director, Industrial Affairs Department, General Directorate of Industry. The department’s mission is the supervision to set up industrial factory likely to the Department of Industrial Works of Thailand. The mission is also to collects statistics on factory operation annually in order to process industrial production report and GDP for the country. In Mr. Sok’s view, Cambodia and Thailand can share best practice and experience on the development of digital statistics to improve government service efficiency to comply with international standards.

Study on economic and local conditions
1) Vegetable and fruit markets: located along roads and sidewalks during evening and night. Agricultural products are mostly imported from Thailand, China, Vietnam. The main products are mango, banana, orange, lemon, avocado, vegetables, and pumpkin. For Thai products are imported through the eastern provinces via road transportation.

2) Department stores: Agricultural products and fruits are divided into two main categories which are raw materials for cooking and processed foods such as drying and seasoning. The main products are bananas, mangoes, cashew nut, black pepper, vegetables, nuts, and grains which contain in standard packaging. The origins of raw material products are clearly defined namely Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Both local markets and department store accept both US dollars and local currency.

3) Dach Island or Mekong Island is a natural island located in the middle of the Mekong River in Phnom Penh where traditional agricultural crops are cultivated such as corn, banana, and cassava with traditional lifestyle to promote tourism industry. Besides local people create their skill for weaving silk products.