Bangladeshi Food Minister Qamrul Islam (front L) shakes hands with Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak (front R) during a signing ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Aug. 2, 2017. Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday to purchase 1 million tons of milled rice from Cambodia within five years from 2017 to 2022. (Xinhua/Sovannara)
PHNOM PENH, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday to purchase 1 million tons of milled rice from Cambodia within five years from 2017 to 2022.
The deal was inked in Phnom Penh between Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak and Bangladeshi Food Minister Qamrul Islam.
Bangladesh, the world's fourth-largest rice producer, has become a major importer of the grain this year after flash floods hit rice paddy output this year, said Qamrul Islam.
"We want to purchase immediately 200,000 tons of white rice and 50,000 tons of parboiled rice from Cambodia," he told reporters after the signing ceremony.
Sorasak said in the first phase, the Cambodian government's rice exporter Green Trade will deliver 250,000 tons of rice to the Bangladesh's Directorate General of Food by October, and the remaining 750,000 tons will be delivered in phases until 2022.
"This is one of the biggest rice deals Cambodia has signed with friendly countries," he said.
Cambodia produced about 9.3 million tons of paddy rice a year. With this amount, it has more than 3 million tons of milled rice left over for annual export.
According to government figures, Cambodia exported a total of 542,000 tons of milled rice to 56 countries and regions in 2016, up 0.7 percent year-on-year.