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BURSA   Malaysia-listed BP Plastics Holdings Bhd expects to receive approval soon to start a rubber plantation in Mondulkiri province, according to media reports. Chairman and Managing Director Lim Chun Yow said the application was “progressing well” and the company would make the necessary announcement once it received the green light, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported yesterday.

In its annual report released last month, the firm said it aimed to diversify into rubber cultivation to deliver sustainable returns to shareholders. “The decision to select Cambodia for rubber cultivation is due to the availability of arable land, costs consideration and outlook for natural rubber demand for the next few decades,” the report said.

BP Plastics could not be reached for comment by The Post yesterday. Meanwhile, rubber prices have increased substantially in the last year. Rubber closed at 15,980 ringgit (US$5315.15) per tone yesterday, from some 11,855 ringgits from June 2010, according to data for the highest listed grade from the Malaysian Rubber Board.

Source : The Phnom Penh Post

A worker walks through a rubber plantation in Kampong Cham province in March. Swift Resources, a rubber company with more than 3,800 hectares of rubber plantation in Kratie province, is preparing to raise funds with an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange. While the price of rubber remains high, the company is looking to fund further expansion of its plantations in Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri and Steung Treng provinces, Kong Kimny, administrative manager of Swift Resources Snoul rubber plantation, said yesterday.

Source : The Phnom Penh Post

CAMBODIAN goods are gaining significant traction in Vietnam, as prices for Vietnamese products rapidly increase. The Kingdom’s exports to its eastern neighbour increased more than 84 percent in the first half of 2011, totaling US$247 million, statistics from the Vietnam Trade Office in Phnom Penh show.

“The Vietnamese economy is facing an obstacle with a rising inflation rate this year that’s been very difficult for us,” said Vietnamese Trade Attache Tran Tu. “However, I think the government is trying its best to tackle the issue [of rising domestic prices].”

Yesterday, Vietnam’s National Assembly Economic Committee head Ha Van Hien said it would be “very difficult” for Vietnam to slow inflation to 17 percent by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Cambodia’s Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon has raised Cambodia’s 2011 inflation target this week to 5.5 percent.

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NORTH Korea aims to import rice from Cambodia, as well as explore for mineral resources, officials said yesterday. High-ranking officials from Pyongyang met with their Cambodian counterparts in Phnom Penh yesterday, signing agreements on economic and trade cooperation. The two countries had signed seven cooperation agreements beginning in 1993, but they were never implemented, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Secretary of State Ouch Borith following meetings.

The bilateral agreements range from cultural cooperation to trade promotion to establishing a joint IT committee. “The agreements have never been actually implemented. Therefore, [yesterday] we agreed to push for actual implementation in the near future,” he said.

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Mondulkiri province

Coffee plantations in Cambodia’s northeast are struggling to keep up with rising international demand for the increasingly lucrative beans, farmers and traders said. Orders for Cambodian-grown coffee beans from countries such as Japan and Korea as well as domestic demand has increased rapidly, while prices have jumped nearly 40 percent since 2009, traders said. Higher prices are ushering more farmers into the market, but supply from Mondulkiri province’s roughly 30 hectares of coffee plantation is falling short.

Im Saroeun, a farmer at the Coffee Plantation Resort in Mondolkiri province, said his plantation is turning down contracts from foreign importers. It simply cannot fill the orders, he said.

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