Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina has urged his Chinese counterpart to offer technical support in promoting exports of three key commodities: milled rice, cashews and fish.

The September 16 meeting took place on the sidelines of the China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, the capital city of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as part of bilateral talks on collaboration between the two countries.

Tina highlighted the substantial achievements made through the partnership, including infrastructure development, agricultural laboratories, promotion centres for produce and capacity-building for officials.

Both countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on September 15, agreeing to establish a commission and working group to develop action plans and set definitive goals.

“The MoU aims to outline action plans that align with policies set by the leaders of both countries,” he stated.

The minister thanked a task force from China’s Foreign Economic Cooperation Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for collaborating with representatives from the agriculture ministry to develop Cambodia’s Agricultural Development Strategic Plan for 2024-2028.

Tina’s counterpart Tang Renjian praised Cambodia’s agricultural sector, stating that it has “not only ensured food security nationally but also contributed to regional food security”.

He encouraged Chinese financiers to invest in the nation to elevate trade relations as Tina also asked for a particular focus on recycling and packaging to enhance product quality and international reputation.

Uon Silot, president of the Cashew nut Association of Cambodia (CAC), noted that the Kingdom produces a significant amount of cashews and has ambitions to become a large exporter.

“The creation of a raw cashew processing factory would boost the value of our cashew products,” he said, while also emphasising existing challenges that need to be addressed.

Silot pointed to complex administrative procedures, limited media exposure and high transport costs as obstacles. “We haven’t yet found solutions to these difficulties.”

Agriculture ministry spokesperson Im Rachna said the country recently exported 45kg of mantis shrimp and other seafood to China for the first time, and that there are plans to increase its export of natural products following this initial success.

She noted that over 25 tonnes of fisheries and aquacultural products had also been exported, including 14 tonnes of processed pra shark-catfish and 11 tonnes of frozen shrimp and eels.