Cambodia seeks China's help as rice prices plummet
26 Sep 2016 at 18:38
PHNOM PENH - Cambodia is seeking early implementation of China's plan to annually purchase 200,000 tonnes of Cambodian rice, to help prevent plummeted rice prices from falling even further, a senior government official said Monday.
Hor Namhong, deputy prime minister in charge of foreign affairs, said he made the request in a meeting with China's new ambassador Xiong Bo, while also explaining that the sharp decline in rice prices is seriously affecting Cambodian farmers.
Chinese Premer Li Keqiang, in his meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Laos early this month, pledged to double China's annual purchase of 100,000 tonnes of Cambodian rice to 200,000 tonnes, starting from next year.
Since last month, the price of rice has fallen from $240 per tonne to $192, leading to protests by some farmers and prompting the government to grant $27 million to millers to buy rice from them.
The deputy prime minister also called for early disbursal of China's pledged loan of $300 million to Cambodia for building warehouses and drying facilities.
Cambodia is a diplomatic ally of China, while the latter is a major provider of low-interest loans and grants to the Southeast Asian country.