Lancang-Mekong Business Forum 2022
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Promoting Agribusiness and Investment in Processed Food Sector.
In Lancang-Mekong countries, i.e. Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam, agri- business is one of the most crucial industry driving and back-up the economic and social development. In the era of globalization, the way of producing and consuming agriculture products and food in the Lancang-Mekong (LM) countries have been dramatically changed. Within the agriculture and food-related industry, the processed food sector has been a key and rapidly changing sector. The urbanization and globalization has brought the changing of consumer taste and preferences, such as preference for processed and nicely packed food, frozen food with protein, organic, green and healthy food etc. Food innovation, traceable food supply chain, good nutritional value and ethical ingredients, i.e. the sustainable producing procedure and social impacts, have gradually become the important concerns of consumers. The new technology and innovation have affected the way of producing, processing and preserving food in sustainable and cost-effective ways.
As the world leading agriculture products producers, the LM countries have been paying attention to food sanitation, food safety and security, and processing agriculture products to add value so as to avoid trade deficit in agriculture sector and increase income.
Cambodia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the agriculture sector has been playing a crucial role to drive and backup the high economic growth. Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, not like other economic driving industries-tourism, manufacture and construction sectors, which affected immediately by shrunk demand, Cambodia’s agriculture sector was not hurt much and shared around 22.4% of GDP in 2020. Though its agricultural productions and exports are rising, Cambodia heavily depends on import of processed agriculture goods. Only 10% of total agricultural goods are processed within the country, and the processed agriculture exports represent only 8% of total official exports by value.
In this regard, the government of Cambodia has adopted many policy frameworks and national plans to promote the agricultural modernization and higher value-added exports by prioritizing the agro-processing sector. Furthermore, Cambodia government has signed new Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreements (CCFTA) with China and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) offering opportunities in trade and investment.
 Cambodia Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map, ADB, July 2021.
The 3rd Lancang-Mekong Business Forum (LMBF)
To catch up the emerging opportunities, Mekong Institute (MI) is hosting the 3rd Lancang-Mekong Business Forum on the theme of “Promoting Agribusiness and Investment in Processed Food Sector in Cambodia” on March 30-31, 2022 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The forum will provide a platform to discuss the challenges and opportunities of agribusiness and processed food sector in Cambodia and LM countries, showcase the innovative agro-food products and facilitate business matching between the Cambodian companies and foreign manufacturers, suppliers, traders and investors from LM region and beyond. The forum will also arrange field visit to a local food processing company and special economic zone to understand the capacity of Cambodian food processing and explore investment incentives, services and facilities offered by the Cambodia government.
The Business Forum is part of a long-term project being implemented by MI in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand and supported by the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund (LMCSF) of P. R. China. For the event in Phnom Penh, MI is collaborating with the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce as the local host. The LM Business Forum in Phnom Penh is the third event of six such forums planned for each Lancang-Mekong country during 2018-2024 to promote agribusiness and processed food sector in the Lancang-Mekong region.
The goals and objectives
The Business Forum is an important platform for sharing innovations, good practices, challenges and opportunities in the agro-food processing industry Cambodia and other Lancang-Mekong (LM) countries. It provides a unique opportunity for the agro-food processing industry value chain actors to seek potential partners and discuss partnership and investment plans. It allows a transition to sustainable processed-food in Cambodia and other LM countries to be established as the ultimate objective. The specific objectives of the forum are as below.
- To exchange business information and market opportunities in agro-food processing sector in the LM countries.
- To gain information on new trends in food processing industry sector, innovative products and sustainable processing.
- To establish business connections between Cambodian companies and buyers and investors from other LM countries and beyond.
- To assist traders and investors to understand Cambodia’s agro-food processing market, investment policies and incentives and identify potential business partners.
Here is a selection of images taken from our latest event.