Asia’s largest food and beverage packaging company San Miguel Corporation is looking to make Cambodia one of its principal production hubs in the South East Asia region, a representative from the company said yesterday.
Roberto de Venecia, vice chairman of the Philippines-Cambodia Business Council and company representative for San Miguel, said the company’s president would be arriving in Cambodia “very soon” to meet government officials and look at possibilities in agro-processing and beer production.
“San Miguel Group is definitely coming here. Other companies will follow suit,” Mr Venecia said speaking on the sidelines at an investment conference in Phnom Penh between Cambodia and the Philippines. “They want to make Cambodia one of their major bases in South East Asia.”
In November San Miguel Brewery International announced it would partner with Phnom Penh based KT Investments to locate their first beer factory and find an appropriate water source for production.
But Mr Venecia yesterday said beer – which the company started to distribute here last year – would just be “a component” of the firm’s plans in Cambodia.
Henry Eang, a manager at KT Investment, said he was unaware when San Miguel would be making further inroads into Cambodia and referred questions to the company.
Giovanni Alalong, a consultant for San Miguel Brewery International in Cambodia, said there would be a group from the Philippines arriving in the coming months to carry out studies as to where a brewery could be located in the country.
“So far I don’t have any specific ideas, but I believe there is a long term plan,” he said.
On Thursday, the Philippine news service GMA News reported that the Philippines is seeking to import to between 200,000 and 300,000 tons of Cambodian rice as part of the country’s first trade and investment mission to Cambodia, which took place yesterday.
Mr Venecia said yesterday that the Philippine government was looking to importing more rice from the region, but doing this in Cambodia is so far “just a proposal,” he said, adding that demand in the Philippines is increasing as the population grows.
“We’re creating the opportunity for everyone, but this is just the start. There will be a lot of business opportunities coming and I anticipate that this will happen within the next 12 to 24 months,” he said.
Kith Meng, chairman of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, said the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce had signed an agreement of economic cooperation with the Philippines-Cambodia Business Council as well as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce during yesterday’s investment mission.
Mr Meng said the agreement would aim at boosting bilateral trade between the two countries and also help bring about closer relations among private investors.
“I think the Philippines need to participate more in the Cambodian market,” he said.
Regarding any rice deal he said, “There is a dialogue ongoing. Of course that will be further discussed.”