Minister of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation Cham Prasidh said the owners of local rice mills and manufacturing enterprises need to focus on the quality of the packaging of their goods if they were to compete in the international markets. He encouraged them to use domestically produced packaging rather than using imports.

Prasidh made the call while leading a delegation on a visit to Horsin Cambodia Packaging Chakrei Ting in Kampot province on February 25 to learn more about its bag production operations. He was accompanied by the leaders of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) – the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body – and the owners of various manufacturing enterprises.

“The purpose of this tour is for businesses that produce rice, salt, animal feed, fertiliser and other goods to explore the possibility of purchasing local packaging such as bags and sacks. When we help the local communities, we also help ourselves.

“The issue with packaging is that it must be attractive enough to draw customers to buy the product inside of it, because if the packaging is of bad quality then the product won’t sell no matter how good it may be,” he said.

According to Prasidh, the government has encouraged Horsin Cambodia Packaging to become the only industrial hub that supplies sacks throughout Cambodia.

“[We] want this company to try to sell only large sacks, which means only the packaging for milled rice, paddy rice, salt, animal feed or fertiliser and other wholesale goods. The Kingdom’s enterprises can come and buy them from this place, which could become a large gathering centre and the prices could be lower as a result.

“When we make something in only one place, first it is easier for us because we don’t have to travel far, and second, the price of the goods is lower and the Chinese government can concentrate on supplying equipment to just this one place,” he said.

Lun Yeng, secretary-general of the CRF, said millers have always wanted to use local products and maximise their use, which led to CRF members to pay this visit to find out more about the price and quality of the sacks from Horsin Cambodia Packaging.

However, he said it depends on the price. If the price of the packaging is too expensive, he said the millers will find it difficult, noting that it also requires production according to market requirements.

“The mill owners pay this visit because they want to learn more about the company’s process for the production of bags and other packaging products, and to study the price. If the price is good, they will consider using local products,” said Lun Yeng.

According to Yeng, over the years, CRF members often used imported bags because the products were not available locally. If there is a local bag factory, he said local enterprises will support that production chain.