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Cambodian Company Signs Potentially Lucrative Chinese Silk Deal

By: Bronwyn Sloan Posted: January-01-2006 in
Bronwyn Sloan

Companies based in Phnom Penh and the Chinese municipality of Chongqing have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the produce of Cambodian silk worms being exported to China in commercial quantities, local media reported this week.

The MoU was signed between Cambodia's Tanimex Company Ltd and Chongqing Wintus (New Star) Trade Development Ltd, which lists Liangping Wintus Silk & Textile Ltd as its subsidiary partner, Khmer-language daily Rasmei Kampuchea reported in a front page story. Both Chinese companies are recognized by the China Chamber of Commerce.

Chongqing Wintus will assist in setting up vast tracts of mulberry plants for the worms to feed and breed on in the southern coastal province of Kampot after initial tests indicated the conditions were particularly favorable for the creatures. Cambodia's current silk production is limited but its quality is world renowned.

The ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel on Wednesday, September 12 was attended by both Cambodian and Chinese government officials, as well as the directors of the respective companies.

Chongqing Wintus has been operating the same business in neighboring Lao, Thailand and Vietnam for the past six years, but the success of the One Village One Product initiative finally enticed it into Cambodia, the newspaper quoted Tanimex director Tann Sophanarith as saying.

The project has the blessing of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has urged mulberry plantations to be set up on a large scale where possible to help reduce poverty and cut the need for villagers to migrate in search of work, the paper quoted Sophanarith as saying.

"The ultimate aim is for a factory to be set up for processing within a very short space of time," he said.

Chongqing is a municipality in central Sichuan province with a population of around 32 million people and a thriving textile industry. It was unclear as yet how many Cambodian hectares would be put under cultivation or what production targets had been set, according to Rasmei Kampuchea.


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