Maldives and Cambodia engaged in discussions on enhancing economic cooperation and facilitating food imports from Cambodia on Monday, which Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih states will reduce the price of staple foods in Maldives.
He made the remark in a joint press conference following official talks with visiting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Speaking to press, President Solih said he and the Cambodian Prime Minister discussed importing rice, fruits and other agricultural produce from Cambodia in order to boost trade between the two countries.
“Cambodia, in addition to being one of the biggest rice producers, also exports international-standard rice and other agricultural produce in large quantities. We therefore discussed finding more opportunities for Maldives in the Cambodian rice market. We also discussed opportunities to import corn, chili, cassava, and other agricultural produce into Maldives,” he said.
Noting Maldives’ heavy dependency on imports, President Solih said that discussions were also held on importing fabric, travel related products, and wood into Maldives.
Discussions were also held on exporting Maldivian canned tuna and other fish products to Cambodia.
Speaking at the press conference, President Solih said that diversifying imports will reduce the price of staples and other food products in Maldives.
It will also increase food security and give consumers a greater choice, he said.
He also praised Cambodia for its success in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Cambodian prime minister, in addition to being an experienced political leader, is a close friend to Maldives. Under his capable leadership, Cambodia overcame the economic downturn from the Covid-19 pandemic. With a high vaccination rate and effective economic policies, Cambodia proved to the world that it is possible to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic reopen the country,” he said.
President Solih said that Maldives implemented similar policies to restart the economy after the pandemic.
Maldives and Cambodia signed six agreements on Monday, including a visa waiver agreement and agreements on increasing cooperation in the field of health, tourism and economic development.