Japanese firm Nippon Koei has announced its intention to invest in Cambodia’s silk industry.
The plan was unveiled during a meeting last week between Cambodia’s Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon and Tamura Tsutomu, general manager of Nippon Koei.
Mr Tsutomu said his company is interested in investing in silk production in the Kingdom having learned that Cambodian silk is in high demand.
“Cambodia has great potential in the silk industry. However, the industry has not been properly developed in terms of the value chain and market access.”
The Khmer Silk Center, an institution dedicated to research in the silk industry and to revitalising the weaving sector, launched in June inside the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
The facility was initiated by RUPP with contributions from the Japanese government and United Nations Development Program.
The university is now working with three silk community leaders in Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, and Mondulkiri whose total production area amounts to 21 hectares of land. It aims to raise the production area to 200 hectares by the end of this year as more farmers are encouraged to participate in the industry.
Ea Hoknym, chairman of the community located in Kampong Speu, told Khmer Times that they plan to begin selling silk in the local market by the end of 2019.
“There are already many companies interested in our product. This is also interest from abroad, particularly from Japan and the US, but, at the moment, we want to focus on the local market,” he said.
His association, known as the Aoral Silk Community, is composed of 50 families with 10 hectares of mulberry trees.
Raw silk in Cambodia, according to Mr Hoknym, is mostly imported from Vietnam and China.