Hun Sen Hopes for Increased Rubber Exports

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday that he hoped land being registered to rural families as part of the government’s nationwide land-titling program would be used to cultivate rubber trees in order to help the country compete with Vietnam as the world’s third-largest rubber exporter. … Speaking at the opening of a $26 million rubber plantation and proc­essing factory in Stung Treng province, Mr. Hun Sen said that by utilizing some of the 2 million hectares of land that has been registered under his titling program, Cambodia could reach its target of 840,000 hectares of rubber plantations within five years. … Presently, there are 280,000 hec­tares of land planted with rubber trees, 118,000 of which is inside ELCs, while another 107,600 is on small-scale farms, Mr. Hun Sen said, adding that about 1 million of the approximately 1.5 million hectares of land that has been leased to private companies as ELCs are registered as rubber plantations. … Despite its growing rubber industry, much of Cambodia’s rubber is transported as liquid resin over the border to Vietnam to be processed, meaning Cambodia looses out on much of the value-added exports once the rubber has been processed.