Hun Sen Warns of Resin Profits Lost to VN

The export of unprocessed resin to Vietnam means lost profits for Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Friday in a speech broadcast by Apsara Radio.

Continued export of un­pro­cessed resin, which sells for almost half the price of processed rubber, continues along the Viet­namese border despite measures to prevent it, Hun Sen said.

“Please, all Vietnamese companies should stop buying [un­processed] rubber from Cambo­dia,” he said, speaking at a ground-breaking ceremony Friday for a new pagoda in Krek district, Kompong Cham province. “If they want to buy it, they should buy the processed rubber resin sold under a legitimate export license.”

A recent report from the Cam­bodia Development Re­source Institute shows that nearly all of Cambodia’s resin trade is conducted without export licenses or required permits and fees be­cause it is too difficult for resin farmers to comply with government regulations.

Hun Sen said he told Agri­culture Minister Chan Sarun to draft a directive for the prime minister to sign and send to all government institutions about regulating the resin trade; he asked the minister to draft a second letter for Hun Sen to send to the Vietnamese prime minister asking him to help crack down on the illegal resin business between Cambodian farmers and Vietnamese merchants.

The prime minister also asked the authorities in Kompong Cham province to speak to their equals in Vietnam’s Tai Ning province about measures to shut down border purchasing points.

“The state will not take any land from people,” the prime minister said. “Anyone who plants resin trees, he or she will get the land title first.”

Hun Sen said the cost to Cambodia is too great to allow unprocessed rubber to continue to be sold to Vietnam without an export license. He said $500 or $600 worth of unprocessed resin should sell for $1,000 if processed and licensed.

“We will lose employment, price and income of taxes,” he said.

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