Cambodia wants China to have a full fruit package deal in negotiations concerning sanitary and phytosanitary issues to export agricultural products to the Chinese market. However, this is unlikely to happen.
Last year, the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture unveiled a list of agricultural products –among these: fresh mangoes, Pailin pepper and dragon fruit– prioritised for the fruit package deals with Chinese authorities. The package, which the ministry said will take a shorter time than doing each product one-by-one.
Thus far, fresh bananas and mangoes are qualified in term of phytosanitary requirements for the Chinese market. For the rest of the prioritised fruit list, China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) has asked Cambodia to negotiate one-by -one, said Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon. He said there isn’t sufficient infrastructure investments in the country when it comes to sterilisation facilities. To put it simply, Khon noted, more investments in such facilities are needed.
From now on, Cambodia is able to export mangoes to China, but only Hyundai Agro Co can ship them because this company has already installed the necessary vapour heat treatment and hot water treatments, ensuring pests on the fruits are killed and cleaned. No other companies in Cambodia have yet done this, Minister Sakhon noted.
Cambodia and China initiated the mango negotiations in early 2018. It took almost two years for both sides to sign an agreement on the protocol for the phytosanitary process. The move is paving the way for the fruit to hit the market.
Other fruit will be dealt with similarly when it is wanted for export. Minister Sakhon said his ministry is planning to propose a government financial package in order to loan local investors who want to invest in the infrastructure the necessary cash, while expecting Chinese and other foreign firms to invest in it as well.