By Othel V. Campos
The Philippines is studying a rice supply deal with Cambodia under an open trade system, according to Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual.
Pacual said Cambodia reached out to the Philippines as a potential market for its rice, as the Philippines is a volume importer of the staple.
“Cambodia is looking for a steady market. They are exporting half of their production and they have turned to us as a potential buyer,” he said in a briefing Friday.
A delegation of Cambodian officials with representatives from the private sector met with the Department of Trade and Industry Thursday for preliminary discussions on possible rice trade between the two countries.
The Cambodian government was represented by Royal Government of Cambodia Secretary of State Chan Sokti who is also the CEO of Green Trade Co., the counterpart agency of the Philippine International Trading Corp. and private sector representative Okhna Cham, president of Cambodia Rice Federation.
The delegation is on an exploratory mission to the Philippines. The group seeks information on the Philippine rice industry, its production capacity, distribution network and the estimated shortfall that may open opportunities for rice importation.
Pascual said Cambodia is willing to serve the demand of the Philippine market, offering options from 100 percent broken rice to 100 percent whole long grain rice. It also produces organic rice and fancy and colored rice from red, brown and black rice.
The Philippines has a long standing trading relationship with Vietnam as its major source of imported rice.