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Brunei
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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    Cambodia marks inaugural official fresh longan shipments to China

    THE PHNOM PENH POST – Longan has became the third Cambodian fruit to be officially exported directly to China in fresh form, after bananas and mangoes, following months of inspections and preparations.

    Thursday marked the first day the Cambodian government authorised the direct export of fresh longan to China, more than a month after Beijing gave the final all-clear.

    The historic moment was commemorated in a ceremony held at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, attended by newly-minted minister Dith Tina, Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian, leaders of relevant ministries and institutions, representatives of the longan community, exporters and plantation owners.

    Longan – also known by the botanical name Dimocarpus longan – is a tropical evergreen tree species native to Asia that produces white-fleshed edible fruit of the soapberry family, which also includes lychees and rambutan. The most renowned variety is the Pailin longan, named after Cambodia’s second smallest province by area, which borders Chanthaburi and Trat in Thailand.

    The soapberry – whose name derives from “dragon eye” as used in different varieties of Chinese – is typically harvested from August to end-December each year, with peak season in November, according to the Pailin Longan Association (PLA).

    Speaking at the ceremony, the agriculture minister confirmed that eight companies have received official authorisation to export longan to China and package the fruit to ship there.

    To recall, Chinese authorities in general only consider a single fresh fruit per country at a time to import. With the first official batches of longan sailing away from Cambodian shores, an official decision on the fourth fruit to export to China has yet to be made.

    Nonetheless, Tina did mention potential contenders to present to Beijing for formal negotiations, such as peppercorn, fragrant coconuts, durian, pineapple, jackfruit and lotus seeds. He also noted that edible bird’s nest, a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, could also be on the table for export talks.

    Cambodian Agriculture Minister Dith Tina and Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian look at arrangements of Pailin longan at an event marking the inaugural export of the fruit to China. PHOTO: THE PHNOM PHEN POST
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