Cambodia: Cambodia eyes Swedish trade
Cambodia is seeking to expand its market for milled rice to Sweden and is looking for ways to cooperate further in trade and investment.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, yesterday asked his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven to consider rice imports from Cambodia and in particular to encourage investors from Sweden to invest in the kingdom.
Seoung Sophary, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Commerce, said Cambodia was seeking to expand markets for its exports to meet the demand for agriculture products.
“We have many kinds of agricultural products,” she said.“The increasing relationship with Sweden will let Cambodia expand its markets because diplomatic ties always come first. Trade ties will follow.”
Ngoun Meng Tech, director-general of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the move, which he said could encourage investment and trade from Sweden.
Cambodia’s milled rice exports to Sweden would increase because Sweden’s weather meant it could not plant rice to meet its needs, Mr. Meng Tich said.
Most of Cambodia’s milled rice is exported to Europe but Sweden is not the top European country to take Cambodian rice.
Cambodia’s rice industry has been advised by the European Union to seek other markets and not just concentrate its exports to Europe, as it moves from a low-income country in its least developed country status to a lower-middle income nation, amid calls to cut the kingdom’s EU tariff-free export quotas.
Hun Lak, vice-president of the Cambodia Rice Federation, earlier welcomed the government’s move to expand markets in Nordic countries.
Cambodia’s exports to Sweden were worth about $54 million in the first nine months of 2016, while imports were $3 million, according to the Swedish National Board of Trade.
Cambodia’s main exports to Sweden are clothing and shoes. Sweden sends engineering products, machinery and equipment, cardboard, and paper.