PHNOM PENH, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Thursday awarded China's state-owned CITIC Construction, to build rice warehouses and drying machines in 11 provinces, according to a statement from the country's Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract was inked here between Cambodian Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak and CITIC Construction's Chairman Chen Xiaojia, the statement said.
The project is made possible under the concessional loan from the Chinese government, it said.
Under the contract, the Chinse firm would construct 12 rice storage facilities with a total capacity of 827,000 tons and 10 rice drying machines with a total capacity of 13,000 tons per day in 11 Cambodian provinces, the statement said.
Those provinces include Pursat, Battambang, Takeo, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Prey Veng, Kandal, Kampong Speu, and Preah Sihanouk, it said.
"With this project, the government hopes that Cambodia will have enough capacity to increase its rice export to the international markets and to enhance Cambodian rice's reputation," the statement said.
It added that the construction of rice warehouses and drying machines would help Cambodia to achieve its target of exporting at least one million tons of milled rice a year in the future.
Cambodia exported a total of 250,172 tons of milled rice in the first five months of 2019, in which 109,234 tons, or 43.6 percent, were shipped to China, according to Cambodian government data.
The Southeast Asian country produced 10.8 million tons of paddy rice last year, up 3.3 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.