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Japan Plans to Set Up Working Group to Support Cambodian Silk Production

PHNOM PENH: The former Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, Takahashi Fumiaki, has informed the Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Veng Sakhon, that a Japanese company wants to set up a working group to assist in the production and diversification of Cambodian silk production.

Speaking to Minister Veng Sakhon at the Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday evening, former Ambassador Takahashi mentioned the establishment of the "Cambodia Golden Silk" working group in Cambodia to produce silk for the textile sector and especially for processing silk products to use as protein by the cosmetic industry, which is popular among Japanese women and in the local market today.

He further stated that this arrangement will benefit the work of people living in rural areas, help promote the value of Khmer silk, establish a center for hatching good varieties of worms that provide high yields, and request UNESCO to register Cambodian silk as a Khmer cultural heritage.

Minister Veng Sakhon welcomed the Japanese investment in silk, saying that at present, the production of Khmer silk has decreased a lot and the establishment of investment projects on silk will help to preserve the Khmer silk weaving culture for future generations.

The Minister wrote on his Facebook page, "I fully support this investment project because it will help rebuild the Khmer silk production capacity to serve the local silk market, reduce imports, make the handicraft weaving process work more sustainably, provide jobs to local people amd reduce migration, use as much raw materials as possible to make Khmer silk to increase the value and promote the cultural tradition of hand-weaving silk, which is the heritage of the Khmer people, and especially introduce foreigners to know the value of Khmer silk through various products made from silk."

The people of Cambodia have traditionally practiced handloom production of silk for centuries, such as in the provinces of Takeo, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap and Kampong Thom, but in recent years the production of Khmer silk has decreased. The Minister of Agriculture has acknowledged the decline and expressed support for cooperation to make the project of the Japanese company run smoothly and successfully.

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