The 7th Cambodia Rice Forum has been postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19 concerns, the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) announced.
The event was originally scheduled to be held from July 30-31.
The CRF maintains that suspension of the event will not affect the sector’s orders and exports
It said: “The decision to postpone the event coincides with the mounting list of international speakers and key buyers withdrawing their participation, especially those from China and a number of ASEAN and European countries.
“There was also a growing number of requests to postpone the forum from within the CRF’s members and leaders stating that they’d prefer arranging it [at a time which would ensure that it is] successful and productive.”
CRF secretary-general Lun Yeng told The Post on Wednesday that the forum could be held later this year if the Covid-19 crisis lets up.
The first edition of the Cambodia Rice Forum was held in 2011 as a purely private-sector initiative to shore up the rice sector through the Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia.
The initiative aims to share perspectives and experiences in the rice sector in search of constructive solutions, particularly in modernising the sector in line with global market trends with reference to price competitiveness, productivity growth and export promotion, the CRF has said.
Chan Pich, general manager of rice miller and exporter Signatures of Asia Co Ltd, said the Cambodia Rice Forum is an indispensable tool for the promotion of the Kingdom’s rice exports to the international market.
“The forum is a meaningful platform for us to showcase the potential of the rice sector to international customers and provides an opportunity for buyers and sellers to meet, which has always driven exports,” he said.
Cambodia’s milled-rice exports surged 41 per cent to 397,660 tonnes in the first half of this year from the 281,538 tonnes shipped in the same period last year, said a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report, citing data compiled from phytosanitary certificates.
Yeng told The Post on July 1 that their combined value was $264.5 million.
On a yearly basis, the Kingdom shipped 45.19 per cent more milled rice to the EU market, 25.20 per cent more to the Chinese market, 47.69 per cent more to the ASEAN market and 79.26 per cent more to other markets, the ministry report said.