Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina emphasised peace and stability as the fundamental requirements for a developing nation, while also noting Cambodia’s agricultural potential during his recent meeting with a senior German official.
In his meeting with Christoph Hoffmann, a member of the German Parliament and vice-chairman of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development, Tina elaborated on the impacts of past conflicts on Cambodia’s development.
Tina cited Cambodia’s history, pointing out the atrocities committed by extremist groups like the Khmer Rouge, which he said caused severe setbacks to the nation’s progress.
During the meeting, which took place on July 17 at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh, he asserted: “We have to safeguard peace for all to prevent a recurrence of such a bitter past”.
The minister also encouraged Germany to trust in Cambodia’s potential, particularly highlighting the country’s efforts to form agricultural communities to tackle challenges related to production, supply chains and business sustainability.
In particular, he addressed the issues of land cover and land grabs, assuring that his ministry is actively working towards resolving these problems.
Speaking on the same issue, Hong Vannak, an economist at the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said that while the agricultural relations between Cambodia and Germany have not been particularly prominent, there is potential for growth.
He noted the existing trade of vehicle spare parts from Germany to Cambodia and the Kingdom’s exports of milled rice, paddy and clothing to Germany through the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme.
Vannak stressed the significance of attracting German investors to enhance Cambodian agriculture.
He suggested that Germany, which has potential investors across various sectors including agriculture, could be enticed to invest in agricultural production here.
The economist also highlighted that Cambodia boasts potential in cultivation and animal husbandry, and possesses geographic regions favourable for farming, which are less prone to severe natural disasters.
He believes that these factors,along with Cambodia’s infrastructure, can lure investors.
“We have good sea ports, clean roads, favourable weather, fertile land and large irrigation systems that could attract potential investors,” he added.
He also observed that Cambodia’s agricultural sector has experienced steady growth, luring foreign investments from countries like Japan, the Netherlands, Thailand and more.
Additionally, major companies have also been farming rubber, pepper, and Cavendish bananas for export to China.