22 September 2009
The governments of Cambodian and Vietnam signed an agreement Tuesday allowing the development of 100,000 hectares of rubber plantations in five provinces, which will add to the 400 Vietnamese companies already operating here.
The new concessions would come into effect by 2015, according to the agreement, signed Tuesday between Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun and his counterpart, Cao Duch Phat.
“This [agreement] will create more jobs for local people and thus alleviate poverty,” Chan Sarun told reporters following a signing ceremony in Phnom Penh. “Our [Cambodian] people in remote areas, who used to depend on forests, will become rubber processors.”
Cao said the agreement would serve as a basis for other rubber companies to follow in the future. Vietnamese companies planted 10,000 hectares in Cambodia this year and are preparing to plant another 20,000 in 2010; 30,000 the year after; and 40,000 the year after that.
Seven Vietnamese companies are operating in five Cambodian provinces: Ratanakkiri, Mondolkiri, Kratie, Kampong Thom and Preah Vihear.
“We will have leased all 100,000 hectares of land to Vietnamese companies by 2012, three years before our plan,” Chan Sarun said, explaining that Vietnam plans to send more rubber companies to Cambodia.
The two ministers also said a rubber processing factory would be set up in Cambodia by 2012. Rubber and timber are Cambodia’s biggest exports to Vietnam, the Vietnam News Agency reported.