Latest ASEAN news

Cambodia: Biggest solar farm set to more than double in capacity

Plans are underway to expand the capacity of the Kingdom’s largest solar power station, by nearly 167 per cent from 90MW to 240MW, to help meet demand and reduce energy costs, according to the head of state-run electric utility Electricite du Cambodge (EdC).

Owned and developed by SchneiTec Co Ltd, the solar farm was built at a total cost of $28 million with an initial capacity of 60MW on a 135ha site in Ansar Kdam village, Sna Ansa commune of Pursat province’s easternmost district of Krakor. It is located within the boundaries of Krakor Special Economic Zone.

During a visit elsewhere in the district on January 16, EdC director-general Keo Rottanak commented on the value of the record-setting project as a clean energy source, and confirmed that Prime Minister Hun Sen had agreed to the expansion, according to local online media outlet Fresh News.

Rottanak sees the project as the future location for field trips and research experiences for students, technicians and scientists, as well as a source of great pride for the people of Krakor as well as Pursat, which he said was selected by the government to develop the labour market and cut migration.

Pursat provincial governor Cheav Tay told The Post that the generation of solar power has greatly benefitted the people of Pursat as well as other provinces.

“Solar-generated power does not adversely affect the environment and helps push down electricity rates,” he said, noting that electrification in Pursat now exceeds 90 per cent.

He also noted that a South Korean-developed 80MW hydropower plant in Pursat was now 10 per cent complete.

Local investors, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises have often complained that high electricity rates have had a significant impact on the competitiveness of domestic products in the internal market, relative to imports.

For full article, please read here

Author: Hom Phanet 

Source: The Phnom Penh Post 

China’s risk assessments on Cambodia’s longan ends positively

Once Cambodian longans are given the green light to enter China, their export value is expected to hit $200 million per year.

The Chinese General Administration of Customs concluded a virtual risk assessment on the longan fruit, showing the acceptable result which is paving the way for the export of longan to China. The trials on the risk assessment were made from January 4 to 6. The Chinese General Administration of Customs assessed the Cambodia’s longan virtually, with officials from the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia and officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia inspecting them at the sites.

Three longan farms in Battambang and Palin provinces and two packaging factories in Kampong Speu and Palin provinces were inspected and assessed. “The assessment makes a successful and expected result,” the Chinese Embassy noted on a Facebook’s post on Monday. The delegation also inspected the laboratory centre of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary and quality Control Center at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

In order to be able to negotiate the opening of the market quickly to reach the import permit to China, the requirements of phytosanitary, hygienic, quality and safety standards are needed. The plantation owners shall apply the cultivation techniques in accordance with the principles of good agricultural practices and there must be sufficient investment to build packaging plants to kill the risk components according to the set standards, the ministry said.
For full article, please read here
Author: Khmer Times 
Source: Khmer Times 

Cambodia targets reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Cambodia has plans to use innovation to turn its existing fossil fuel power plants cleaner and greener using technologies such as clean coal technology and carbon capture utilisation and storage.

Mines Minister Suy Sem said this in a recorded video for the virtual Asean Energy Outlook Forum 2022, held this week.

Even though the world has shifted prior policies and resources to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, environment protection and climate change still remain common agendas for sustainable development in the future, he said.

To pursue a country’s social and economic development, it needs to ensure an adequate, affordable, reliable and secure energy supply, he said.

The utilisation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon energy development are effective ways to contribute to the mitigation of climate change, he added.

The ministry has cooperated with the Asian Development Bank to craft a power development plan until 2040 for the purpose of increasing the penetration of clean energy into the power generation mix and to secure energy security and reliability.

In addition to the projects that have already been approved since 2019 and the switch to low carbon energy sources such as imported natural gas – LNG or hydrogen – the ministry has committed not to develop any new coal-fired plants and to increase the utilisation of renewable energy sources and other resources that will not affect the environment.

For full article, please read here

Author: Chea Vanyuth 

Source: Khmer Times 

Cambodia:Ministry, Swisscontact ink MoU on SME e-commerce

The Ministry of Commerce and Swisscontact, representing the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF), are teaming up on a project to make it easier for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to ship and receive small parcels internationally, according to the ministry.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to this end on January 12 by ministry secretary of state Tek Reth Kamrong and Swisscontact Cambodia country director Rajiv Pradhan, to implement a joint project entitled “Improving Small Package e-Trade for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises” (SeT4SME), the ministry said in a social media post on January 13.

The MoU has two main objectives – first, to contribute to the implementation of trade facilitation and e-commerce initiatives, and improve the cross-border trade environment, by linking the General Department of Customs and Excise’s general data exchange system and the Cambodia Post with trading partners.

The second is to establish an e-platform for small-package shipping, to strengthen the e-commerce environment for local micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) and help them maximise benefits from online trade, the ministry said.

In a separate statement, a Swisscontact representative said: “SeT4SMEs, initiated by the [GATF] and implemented by Swisscontact Cambodia, aims to facilitate the imports and exports of postal consignments in Cambodia and promote inclusive growth in the country, by enhancing the clearance process of small packages sent through the post and thus saving time and money for local [MSMEs], many of them women-owned.”

For full article, please read here

Author: May Kunmakara 

Source: The Phnom Penh Post 

Cambodia rice exports to EU to be tariff-free from January 18

The European Union’s import tariffs on Cambodian and Myanmar long-grain white rice will revert to zero from January 18, said S&P Global Platts, the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade. The tariffs were introduced by the European Commission (EC) three years ago on Cambodian rice exports.

Before the tariffs were imposed on January 18, 2019, the EU has had been steadily increasing its imports of rice from both Cambodia and Myanmar, in particular of the cheaper long-grained indica variety, and as a consequence, the price of rice grown in the EU dropped significantly.

Led by Italy, EU rice-producing countries tabled a request for “trade safeguards” to be instated on imports from Cambodia and Myanmar of the long grain indica variety of rice, which started at €175 per ton for the first year and was reduced to €125 per ton this past year.

Both Cambodia and Myanmar are beneficiaries of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme which removes duty on exports from the two countries into the EU to help alleviate the poverty the two countries suffer from.

Even though this preferential treatment of Cambodia had been lifted by the EU in 2020 due to human rights concerns, rice exports to the EU were still allowed to benefit from the scheme.

Now with the lifting of these safeguards on January 18, Cambodian rice exporters are excited about the prospect of exports to the EU bouncing back to previous levels.

“We want to thank all the European Commission for supporting Cambodia and allowing these tariffs to be removed,” rejoiced Song Saran, president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) and CEO of Amru Rice, one of the top rice exporters in Cambodia that has more than 10,000 contract farmers.

For full article, please read here

Author: Anthony McGonigle 

Source: Khmer Times 

The mango fever: Cambodia exports more than 600 tons of mangos to China

Cambodia continues to fuel the demand for mangos in China with more than 600 tons of mangos exported to the country since May 2021.

This was reported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The ministry reported that from May 202, Cambodia exported 638 tons of mangos to China. The ministry stated that demand for Cambodian mangos have continued to grow.

According to the ministry, the total amount of imports in the first half of the year amounted to $172.45 billion, which is an increase of 26 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

Exports stated that the Chinese market has great potential to be a new growth point in the export of fresh mangoes from Cambodia.

China continues to be a major trade and investment with Cambodia in the agricultural sector. Cambodia exports large amounts of longan, mangos, and other fruits to the country, and the ministry is aiming to expand the trade and markets of Cambodian exports to the China.

Mango exports to international markets is continually growing despite the pandemic. According to reports Cambodia exported 163,828 tons of mango in the first eight months of the year.

For original article, please read here

Author: Khmer Times 

Source: Khmer Times 

Phan Oun on goals of CCF’s mission as Kingdom’s consumer guardians

Back in 2020, the government renamed the Cambodia Import-Export and Fraud Repression directorate-general to Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) and revised its roles and responsibilities.

The Post interviewed Phan Oun, director-general of the CCF, on his organisation’s mission and the activities they carry out to help Cambodia’s consumers and businesses.

What is CCF’s mission?

The CCF directorate-general is an institution under the Ministry of Commerce that plays a key role in protecting consumers and its responsibilities are clearly defined, as indicated by the new name, as the protection of consumer rights and interests and ensuring market competition.

We work to ensure a fairly competitive business environment that is free from fraud while ensuring the safety and quality of products and services.

How do you accomplish that mission? What other roles does CCF have?

The CCF plays an important role in researching, formulating policies and strategies related to quality, safety of goods and services, and consumer protection and competition.

We also have the role of inspecting goods and services under our jurisdiction. We work with police and other authorities to investigate and prevent fraudulent business activities and we protect consumers’ rights and interests to ensure the quality, safety and regulatory compliance of products and services as well as taking action on contracts that restrict or defame market competition.

All of this helps to ensure a more competitive market for goods and services in Cambodia and that helps consumers by providing them with more options. More choices will generally lead to better products at lower prices because businesses must compete for market share.

The CCF also acts as the secretariat for the National Commission for Examination of Halal Products in Cambodia and the National Codex Committee as well as the secretariat of the Cambodia Competition Commission once it is established in the near future.

For full article, please read here

Author: Long Kimmarita 

Source: The Phnom Penh Post 

Vietnam buys 80 pct of Cambodia’s agriculture exports

Vietnam bought nearly 80 percent of Cambodia’s nearly $5 billion worth of agriculture exports last year.

It bought 96-99 percent of Cambodia’s cashew, pepper and mung bean exports, according to a report by Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Exports of Cambodia cashew to Vietnam grew 4.6 times from 2020, and that of pepper and mung bean surged four times.

Other produce that Vietnam bought in large amount from its neighbor were rice, grapefruit, bananas and mangoes.

Cambodian Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhom told Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc during the latter’s recent visit that Vietnam was Cambodia’s biggest importer among 70 countries and territories last year.

Vietnamese companies had also harvested $200 million worth of latex in the first 11 months last year, he added.

“Rubber farming has created jobs for around 33,000 locals. Vietnamese companies also contributed to over 50 precent of Cambodia’s banana exports, creating jobs for around 14,000 workers.”

For full article, please read here

Author: E. VNExpress

Source: Khmer Times 

Bringing Thailand into the next age of industry

Thailand is one of Southeast Asia's leading manufacturing hubs, especially for the production of automobiles. However, the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to remain competitive mean that the nation must now focus on boosting sector productivity.

Automation has always been at the heart of boosting industrial productivity, but digital automation between manufacturers has been limited. Yet, as we enter Thailand 4.0, we are seeing the mainstreaming of applications that make use of more advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the internet of things (IoT), edge cloud computing and, most importantly, next-generation wireless connectivity provided by communications service providers and their technology partners.

Fixed cables or previous-generation wireless networks -- such as 3G and 4G -- are no longer practical for tomorrow's factories. In Thailand 4.0, the level of productivity, efficiency and operational agility enabled by more advanced digital applications require ultra-low network latency and reliability that legacy networks cannot provide.

New, industrial-grade private wireless solutions powered by 4.9G or 5G connectivity offer factory operators greater enterprise control and the capacity for long-term operability and efficiency. This is due to their more robust signals, lower latency and enhanced security -- factors contributing to unprecedented ability to sync with connected devices that can support human operations.

Another differentiator of these advanced systems is network slicing. This means that a dedicated "slice" of the network can be assigned to various specific operations. This can raise automation in factories to new levels as they adopt Industry 4.0 approaches such as digital twins, autonomous mobile robots (AMR), augmented and virtual reality as well as edge computing.

Digital twins refers to data-driven representations of physical systems using IoT sensors and analytics. The technology's transformational value has already been realised in Thailand -- most notably to create a 3D map of the Tham Luang cave to assist with the rescue of the young footballers trapped there in 2018.

For factories, digital twins allow operators to gain deeper insights via increased data collection to develop virtualised models of both machines and production lines. They can also help better understand how changes will affect equipment performance and reconfiguration to meet on-demand manufacturing.

Overall, digital twins enable the monitoring of every aspect of the factory environment to keep production quality high while also allowing for predictive maintenance to keep downtime low.

During the ongoing pandemic, digital twins were also used to improve vaccine production efficiency and safety, while doing the same for personal protective equipment manufacturing. In the automotive sector, vehicle manufacturers can use digital twins to simulate car models and assembly line processes for maximum efficiency.

Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) can make large manufacturing environments more sophisticated, flexible and cost-effective. Compared to conventional automated guided vehicles (AGVs), AMRs allow greater dynamism in helping personnel navigate through factories.

AMRs can be enhanced further by a resilient, low-latency private wireless network to make them more intelligent and collaborative, as high-performance connectivity can empower smarter AMRs with context awareness and open-path navigation for obstacle and collision avoidance.

Such networks can also connect data and systems across the factory to keep AMRs updated on production line changes, in addition to using real-time data from onboard cameras and sensors to enable smarter collaboration between human and autonomous workforces.

In Thailand, the value of intelligent AMRs will be in the production of the robots themselves. This can then be adopted by other key manufacturing sectors such as electronics, a domestic sector that is already using AMRs in automation processes like precision assembly, as well as taking over duties in environments that are hazardous to human health. Not only do they reduce failure rates and material wastage, but also increase assembly efficiency, especially for complex products.

Edge computing, meanwhile, offers cloud capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of the network. It is a powerful catalyst for innovation, as the edge environment is characterised by proximity, ultra-low latency and high bandwidth. Especially when enhanced with high-performance wireless connectivity, edge computing can also support computer-intensive IoT applications that use virtual and/or augmented reality.

Real-time data gathering allows for the direct feeding of information to workforces using connected devices (such as headsets and tablets) via VR or AR to quickly change setups and retool for new requirements.

For sectors such as automotive production, VR and AR can be applied to designing, prototyping and production. For example, in the production of electric vehicles, VR or AR can assist in creating virtual versions of specific batteries to determine the reliability and how it complements the vehicle. It also allows engineers to have more hands-on training to detect errors and further improve the vehicle.

Edge computing can also make production lines more productive and flexible, by enabling the combination of real-time data and historical profiles to automatically adjust systems for peak performance, while ensuring machines predict maintenance and prevent faults. This allows manual operations to be automated.

For example, using wireless robots and repurposing them as needed is useful in making production lines more flexible, which would then help to better facilitate operational continuity during disruptive crises such as the pandemic.

While the call for factories to digitise has been heard for years, there is heightened urgency to make operations more resilient during challenging economic periods. These applications can also create pathways of agility for improved future competitiveness.

Yet, to digitally transform the entire factory environment, all applications and processes must be underpinned by ubiquitous, highly reliable wireless connectivity. This means Thailand's government, businesses and communication service providers will have a catalysing, collaborative role in creating factories of the future.

Author: Tanat Techatanabaht is the country director for Thailand and Cambodia of Nokia.
Source: Bangkok Post

Cambodia to be ASEAN logistics hub for Japan retailer

Top Japanese retailer Aeon will offer international logistics services in Cambodia, drawn by Southeast Asia’s rising trade and cross-border e-commerce as the company seeks new growth drivers.

Subsidiary Aeon Mall plans to build a roughly 30,000-sq.-meter logistics center in a special economic zone near the southern port of Sihanoukville. It aims to launch the business in fiscal 2023, offering import storage, customs clearance and support for cross-border online retail.

Cambodia — part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trade bloc — has plans to develop part of the economic zone as a free trade port, with backing from the Japanese government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The center will feature Cambodia’s first bonded warehouse, which lets importers store products from abroad without paying duties before they go through customs procedures. Companies can leave large quantities of goods there for a certain period of time, gradually withdrawing them as needed and paying any applicable tariffs at that time.

Demand for such facilities is growing worldwide as a way to raise supply chain efficiency and manage costs.

Aeon Mall, which operates two shopping centers in Cambodia, looks to have mall tenants use the bonded warehouse to store imports from Japan, Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere. It also will market its services to local retailers and e-commerce companies, along with Japanese consumer products makers looking to sell in Cambodia, and anticipates appliance and auto manufacturers will store parts at the facility.

For full article, please read here


Author: Nikkei/ Asia 

Source: Khmer Times 

ASEAN-Hong Kong Project “Innovative Products Practices for Food processing in Myanmar”

The Project on “Innovative Products Practices for Food processing in Myanmar” is being implemented by Directorate of Industrial Supervision and Inspection (DISI) under Ministry of Industry using the fund of ASEAN-Hong Kong (China) Free Trade Agreement ECOTECH Work Programme. The project will be implemented from November 2021 to March 2022 aiming to promote the development of food processing MSMEs in ASEAN and Hong Kong by sharing experiences and best innovative practices in food processing sector, and building the network and business linkages among food processing MSMEs. The objectives of this project are ; to build the network and business linkages among MSMEs in ASEAN and Hong Kong for the development of food processing MSMEs, to enhance the innovative practices among Myanmar MSMEs to produce innovative products in line with export strategies and investment trend, to encourage Myanmar MSMEs in producing food products by using International Norms, Innovation idea and Design thinking and to learn and study through practices from successful firms and theories from experts.

The project will be implemented in three phases. The first Phase and second Phase are: MSMEs Competition of potential food processing MSMEs in Ayeyarwaddy Region and Mon State and mentoring for selected MSMEs in order to provide guidance and consultations, and technology support by the experts. The third Phase is Hybrid Seminar will be held in January, 2022 (Physically for MSMEs and government officials in Myanmar and virtually for MSMEs in ASEAN and Hong Kong) for sharing best practices of innovation and experiences in food processing MSMEs

As the 1st phase of the project, MSME Competition for Potential food processing MSMEs for Ayeyarwaddy Region was held on 3.12.2021 in Pathein and Nay Min Low Sodium Salt, Green Toddy and MoMoKo Dried Nipa have been awarded. Competition for Mon State was held on 6.12.2021 in Mawlamyaing and Shwewarmyay Dried Konjac, JJY Mushroom Products and Pyi Myanmar Bakery have been awarded “Innovation Idea Awards for Food Processing”.

As the 2nd phase, the selected MSMEs in two regions are currently being mentored by local experts in order to enhance the innovative practices and to utilize good manufacturing practices in their production stages. 

Cambodia’s pepper export achieves record high, rises by 452 percent

Cambodia exported 28,074 tonnes of pepper last year, a skyrocket increase of 452 percent compared to a year before, said a report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Forestry.

Vietnam was the biggest market of the Kingdom’s pepper export last year, importing some 27,111 tonnes or 96.5 percent of the total export amount, read the report.

Other main markets are Germany 607 tonnes, Thailand 180 tonnes, France 45 tonnes, and India 42 tonnes, while the rest went to Belgium, China’s Taiwan, Czech, Poland, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, the US, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, Australia, Canada, and Malaysia, and some countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Mak Ny, president of the Cambodia Pepper and Spice Federation, said on Tuesday that local processing and diversification of the market would help increase the value-added price to the pepper.

“We acknowledge that Vietnam is the biggest market for our pepper, but some investors have started investment on processing for finished products of pepper which would push the stable price of the commodity,” Ny said.

“The federation has promoted pepper to other markets including the Middle East and North Africa, and under the free trade agreement with China, we expect that we can reduce dependency on export to Vietnam and this would keep the market stable with price,” he said.

For full article, please read here

Author: Chea Vanyuth 

Source: Khmer Times