Phnom Penh (FN), June 6 – Malaysia has become the largest importer of Cambodian rice, Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the Puthisastra graduation ceremony on Thursday.

“Malaysia is our largest rice importer among ASEAN members. Malaysia used to has the largest investment in the kingdom but now fell to the sixth,” the premier stated, adding that: “The return of the 90-year Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad as Malaysia Premier vowed to move up to the second or third.”

Speaking in a courtesy call on Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace on 5 June, the incoming Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia, Eldeen Hasaaini Binh Mohd Hashim, pledged to further promote Cambodia-Malaysia diplomacy and trade. The Premier encouraged the two countries to sign agreement on avoidance of double taxation and promote free trade agreements under the ASEAN framework.

It is worth noting that in the first four months of 2019, speaking of the ASEAN framework, Malaysia ranked the first to import Cambodian rice, 11,291 tons, followed by Brunei 9,240 tons, and Vietnam 7,413 tons, according to a report issued by Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export Formality (SOWS-REF).

In 2018, Cambodia exported 626,225 tons of rice to international markets, having China as the largest importer, 170,000 tons, followed by France 90,000 tons, and Malaysia 40,000 tons.

Prime Minister, today, also urged the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to encourage farmers to use organic fertilizers to produce organic rice that is good for people’s health and for exports.