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The fieldtrip in An Giang province to collect information on border trade situation between Vietnam and Cambodia from 10 July 2023 to 15 July 2023

Within the framework of the regional research Cross-border trade between CLV countries” the research team of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture Rural Development (IPSARD) organized the fieldtrip in An Giang province of Vietnam in July 2023. During the working trip, the research team worked with several provincial management agencies (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Industry and Trade, Provincial Customs Department, Economic Division at District level) and stakeholders involved in agricultural export chains on the situation of agricultural trade at the border gates between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Photo: Working with the staffs of An Giang Provincial Customs Branch and some enterprises on the border trade situation

According to the Department of Industry and Trade of An Giang province, currently, agricultural product import and export activities of An Giang province in 2023 are relatively stable, with some export items increasing significantly such as rice, vegetables, and fruits. It is estimated that rice export turnover from the beginning of the year to July 2023 will reach over 200 million USD. The province's main rice export markets are Asia (China, Malaysia, Singapore,...), Africa (Ghana,...), Europe (France, Germany, Portugal,... ), Americas (USA, Brazil,...) and Oceania. For frozen fruits and vegetables, it is forecasted that by the end of the third quarter 2023, export turnover will reach about 48 million USD. The province's main export markets for vegetables and fruits are Malaysia, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and Sweden. For the Cambodian market, An Giang mainly exports some fruits, vegetable, and seafood products by border traders and a small proportion of quantity is exported following official form. In contrast, Vietnam mainly imports rice and fruit (mango) from Cambodia to Vietnam to serve the domestic market.

According to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Huan - Officer at the Department of Industry and Trade, Vietnam exports rice to Cambodia but imports paddy from Cambodia. However, An Giang province exports rice to other countries but not to Cambodia. Vietnam imports a lot of paddy from Cambodia through border gates in An Giang and Dong Thap to provide raw materials for rice processing factories in An Giang, Tien Giang, and Dong Thap provinces. Rice after milling is supplied to the domestic market and partly exported to other markets. In general, the import and export of agricultural products in general and rice and fruit in particular between the two countries through border gates in An Giang tend to increase.

However, according to the survey results at Tinh Bien border gate and Khanh Binh border gate – An Giang province, agricultural products trade between Cambodia and Vietnam still faces some difficulties in issuing phytosanitary certificates. The long certification time affects the quality of agricultural products. The control of quality and origin of agricultural products has not been standardized and has not been strictly managed.

In the coming time, in order to promote agricultural trade with Cambodia, An Giang province need to coordinate with Cambodian trade agencies to simplify phytosanitary processes and procedures, attracting businesses to invest in building distribution centers, transshipment of goods at border gates to facilitate border trade, enhance trade promotion, and connect businesses in An Giang with partners in Cambodia.