Forestry Administration (FiA) head Keo Omaliss has welcomed a US firm’s intent to invest in the cultivation and processing of eucalyptus and acacia trees for domestic supply and export, mainly to the US.

His stamp of approval comes after Bioterra Capital Co Ltd director Paul Kambur on December 8 met Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon, asking for guidance on the commercial forest industry venture, in areas such as reforestation, processing and export.

The minister told the company to partner with firms that have been granted economic land concessions, and work with the FiA – a unit under his ministry – on planting stations and nurseries to propagate and stock the trees needed for replanting.

He emphasised that the ministry would lend support to ensure that the project is a success.

Omaliss told The Post on December 12 that eucalyptus and acacia are top types of wood used as a source of thermal energy in industry, and can be processed into stakes and poles, paper, and furniture.

Some species can reach market maturity in just two and a half years, while others require between five and seven years to harvest, notably those used to make furniture, he said.

“There is a lot of land under eucalyptus and acacia cultivation in Cambodia, with over 10,000ha planted on state land and tens of thousands of hectares more grown privately,” he added.

Omaliss put the tally of companies with weighty investments in the trees at no less than 10, saying most are planted in Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Pailin provinces.

Aside from these three provinces, the trees are also predominantly grown in Kampong Chhnang, Kampot, Koh Kong, Kratie, Preah Sihanouk and Prey Veng, he said.

He highlighted that the Kingdom’s policy framework and geographical advantages create a macroeconomic environment that is conducive to investment and exports, especially now with the new investment law, which makes things easier for investors to tap into the Cambodian market.