Vendors displayed black pepper from Kampot, honey from Preah Vihear, gemstones from Takeo and palm sugar from Kompong Speu at the opening of the 3rd Export-Import and One Province, One Product Exhibition at the Mondial Center in Phnom Penh on Monday.
With more than 200 stalls, including 48 representing 20 of the country’s provinces and four municipalities, the trade exhibition has attracted the participation of 135 companies, half of whom hail from overseas, said Commerce Ministry Secretary of State Mao Thora.
The first two days of the exhibition, Monday and today, have been designated for traders, and the last two days will be open to the public, Mao Thora said, noting that products on display range from agricultural products to silk and handicrafts to home decorations and jewelry.
Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said in a speech kicking off the exhibition that Cambodia needs to develop more products to compete in the world market and the exhibition will help promote homegrown efforts.
“For Cambodia, challenging the international market is important and to challenge it we need to be well prepared,” Cham Prasidh said.
Cham Prasidh said the exhibition is part of a larger plan to find foreign products and have them produced in Cambodia, eventually having all provinces specialize in producing specific items.
So Hour, a farmer from Preah Vihear province who is selling rice and honey, said business was good at the exhibition.
“I expect to sell all my products here,” she said, adding that taking her products to an international market was unlikely.
“I cannot export my products because I don’t have the ability,” he said.
Chheng Soeung, a Kompong Speu provincial Commerce Ministry representative, said that many palm sugar farmers in his province have switched to other products in the last several years because of a lack of demand.
The exhibition, however, may help match farmers with investors.
“Now, we expect to find business partners for farmers to continue their small businesses,” he said.