October 5, 2011

Cambodia asks Singapore to mull investments in rice mills


PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday asked Singapore to consider investments in rice mills in order to help the country to boost rice export strategy.

Hor Namhong made his suggestion during a meeting with visiting Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam.

Hor Namhong said Cambodia has 3.9 million tons of rice paddies, or 2.5 million tons of milled rice, left over for exports this year, but the country has the shortage of sophisticated rice mills to process for exports, so he appealed to Singaporean investors to invest in rice mills.

"The investments in rice mills here will not only help Cambodia to develop it economy, but also relieve the globe from food crisis," he said.

Shanmugam promised to encourage Singaporean investors to study the possibility for the investments in the sector.

Singapore is the eighth largest investor in Cambodia with the accumulative investment reaching 636 million U.S. dollars from 1994 to July 2011, according to the reports of the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

In term of bilateral trade, the two-way trade was 175 million U. S. dollars in the first half of this year, up 148 percent from 70. 4 million U.S. dollars at the same period last year, according to the figures of the Ministry of Commerce.

Besides talking on economic and trade promotion, the two ministers also discussed ways to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in all sectors, especially politics and education.

Shanmugam arrived in Cambodia on Wednesday morning for a two- day official visit at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong. During the stay, Shanmugam will also pay courtesy calls Prime Minister Hun Sen and have an audience with King Norodom Sihamoni.

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