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Deal on food investment signed with Australia

Property Invest in Cambodia -Cambodia and Australia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the financing arrangements for an Agri-Food Investment Desk (AFID) at the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), aimed at creating jobs and improving standards in farming.

The online ceremony was presided over by CDC Secretary-General and Minister Attached to the Prime Minister Sok Chenda Sophea, along with Australian Ambassador Pablo Kang.

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The event was organised by the CDC in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Property Invest in Cambodia-The CDC said the ceremony showed the commitment of the CDC, MAFF and DFAT to promoting investments in agri-food in the framework of the Cambodia-Australia Agricultural Value Chain Programme (CAVAC). This would improve food safety and reduce poverty through job creation, economic growth and environmental sustainability, the CDC said.

“This MoU will serve as an important instrument to bring about more investment, promote agri-food development and to enhance competitiveness in the agriculture sector,” it said. “The activation of the Agri-food Investments Desk at the CDC will enable [a] stronger foundation for a resilient agri-food sector in Cambodia through investment diversification in terms of resources and level of technology and innovation usage while creating higher value-added employment for Cambodians in the agri-food sector.”

The CDC secretary-general thanked Australia for providing technical assistance and also for helping Cambodia transition to a post-Covid “new normal”. Sophea also praised the Agriculture Ministry for carrying out investment promotion activities for the CAVAC programme.

He said a draft investment law, which is nearing government approval, will provide incentives for investment in agriculture and agri-food, which have been classified as priority sectors.

The Australian ambassador said his government supports Cambodia’s economic development process. In particular, Kang said, it wanted to help the Kingdom improve agricultural productivity through promoting  investment in the agri-food sector.

Last month the CDC approved 376 projects worth nearly $9.7 billion, investing in the agriculture and agro-industry sectors.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization defines agro-industry as “the enterprises, activities and institutions that deliver material inputs to the farming sector and transform, distribute and otherwise add value to agricultural and food products targeting an identified market demand.” It says the benefits of agro-industries include jobs in off-farm activities such as processing, adding value to farmers’ products and raising demand for them.