Four ministries are pushing local producers, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to improve their quality, standards and packaging and to provide proper labels on their products to make them more attractive to supermarkets, restaurants and hotels and to boost recognition of local products among local and foreign consumers.
They are also urging local companies to register with the government in order to comply with the law and allow equal competition in local and foreign markets.
Commenting at a consultation workshop between local producers, suppliers, consumers and retailers on promoting the use of Cambodian products yesterday, Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak, together with the ministers of agriculture, industry and handicrafts as well as the secretary of state for the tourism ministry, said Cambodian products must have proper packaging and standards and have a logo.
He also said companies should be registered to ensure their credibility and to gain trust and support from local and foreign consumers.
“Quality, food safety and pricing must be competitive to compete with imported products,” Mr. Sorasak said.
“Local producers and suppliers must work closely with distributors such as supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and stores, exporters and the Ministry of Commerce to get their products sold in other countries as Cambodia has trade offices,” he added.
Cham Prasidh, the Minister of Industry and Handicrafts, said all local companies, SMEs and manufacturers must strengthen their products when it comes to quality and high standards to compete in both the local and global markets.
He said local producers should aim to compete with foreign products on the global market.
“If we have quality products, we can access all markets, not only local or regional markets but globally,” Mr. Prasidh said. “Now we have adopted about 804 standards and we also use the international standards and Asean standards to be our national standard for local producers to comply with,” he added.
“We urge all local producers to uphold these standards, quality and good packaging and proper labelling to attract the buyers and I encourage them to sell and buy Khmer products and urge the hotels and restaurants to use Khmer products,” Mr. Prasidh said.
Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon is also pushing local producers and farmers to promote the technique of growing and strengthening the quality and packaging of agricultural products to fulfill the local market demand and also for exports.
“Last year, Cambodia exported agricultural products worth about $5 billion, but the figure will be increased if Cambodia could handle the sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) and proper infrastructure to support the products and exports,” Mr. Sakhon said.
Cambodia’s secretary of state at the Tourism Ministry, Tith Chantha, said he supported having quality and standards for local products.
He said the supply side must have a good relationship with the demand side. He said Cambodia has more than 700 hotels and 3,000 restaurants and most of them need local products, so local product suppliers must supply them with quality and the proper amount.
“We lose about from 20 to 25 percent from imported products. If we could reduce the imported foreign products as much as possible, our local product will supply more to the market,” Mr. Chantha said.