PHNOM PENH, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The first international cafe and bakery exhibition kicked off here at the Diamond Island Exhibition Center on Thursday, aiming to boost the development of the fast-growing coffee industry in the kingdom, officials said.
Some 45 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions showcased their products such as coffee beans, specialty coffee, specialty tea, beverages, juices, coffee machines, roasting machines, and equipment at the three-day event.
Lim Chhiv Ho, chairwoman of CamGlobe Business & Investment Consultancy Co., Ltd, which co-organized the event, said the rise in urban population and surge in spending power had contributed to the tremendous growth and demand for specialty coffees, high-powered cafe machinery and more robust barista expertise in the expanding coffee trade.
"Domestic demand for locally-grown coffee has also seen dramatic increases during the past three years," she said during the exhibition's opening ceremony.
"With a variety of drinks available on the market, up to 35 percent of the industry leaders expressed that western coffee will be the trendiest of all coffee types," she said.
Chhiv Ho said that the massive growth of the global coffee industry, as well as a flourishing local coffee shop culture, would offer a golden opportunity for local coffee growers to expand production.
Speaking at the event, Cambodian Minister of Industry and Handicrafts Cham Prasidh said that coffee crops are mostly grown in five Cambodian provinces, namely Pailin, Mondolkiri, Kampong Cham, Ratanakiri and Stung Treng.
"Coffee starts to be a growing business in Cambodia, so this first cafe exhibition is going to be a very helpful event," he said, adding that "we need good coffees and good baristas."