Report on Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia Partici
H.E Mao Thora
Secretary of State of Ministry of Commerce, Chairman of Cambodia Silk Sector Promotion and Development Commission
1. Introduction and Executive Summary
The production of silk originates in China in the Neolithic (Yangshao culture, 4th millennium BCE). Silk remained confined to China until the Silk Road opened at some point during the latter half of the first millennium BCE. China maintained its virtual monopoly over silk production for another thousand years. Not confined to clothing, silk was also used for a number of other applications, including writing, and the color of silk worn was an important guide of social class during the Tang Dynasty.
With the wider viewed of silk and its future the ISU was founded in October, 2015. It’s also has committed to inheriting silk culture, strengthening exchanges, promoting industrial development, and positively introducing the silk industry and the silk enterprise brand in Hangzhou or even in China. There have been more than 90 enterprises from 16 countries and regions joined ISU, including China, Brazil, Italy, India, France, Japan, Switzerland, Thailand, Vietnam etc.
The international silk industry facing the culture heritage, technological innovation, transformation and upgrading, cross-border cooperation, especially under the background of “the Belt and Road Initiatives” regional economic development and win-win cooperation. ISU becomes a platform for interconnection, equality mutual benefit and friendly cooperation, led the foundation by Zhejiang Cathaya International Co., Ltd., including the domestic and foreign silk enterprises and institutions. ISU is an international and specialized non-profit organization in the silk industry which is to promote the healthy and stable development of the silk industry.
From 20-21 October 2017, International Silk Union (ISU) have held a Belt and Road Forum for International Silk and Silk Expo at North Star International Exhibition Center in Hangzhou, China.
H. E Mao Thora, Secretary of State of Ministry of Commerce and Chairman of Cambodia Silk Sector Promotion and Development Commission together with H.E Kong Chan, Under-Secretary of State of Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries were invited to join the forum.
The forum have brought together silk experts, marketers, investors, producers, exporters, farmers and engineer from 16 countries along the silk road to discuss how to raise the profile and awareness of Silk industry and production. Also, drive development that is sustainable, responsible and internationally competitive. The Meeting also looked at how stakeholders could leverage from the Silk investment position and help rebuild the world of silk.
This valuable opportunity was given by a great support from H.E Pan Sorasak, Minister of Ministry of Commerce toward the silk sector, as silk is one of the top ten priority product of Cambodia for poverty reduction.
This forum aimed to bring together all the silk producers, exporters and farmers from around the globe in order to share their experiences, lesson learn and concerned of the silk industry toward the union members.
The main objective for this event was to:
Ø Introducing Chinese and international best practices and successes on silk business and innovation
Ø Exploring the silk industry and related silk enterprises at home (China) and abroad
Ø Facilitating partnerships and investments for domestic and international trade for silk products creation and expansion
Ø Highlighting best practices of members collaboration and government institutions on productive and sustainable job creation
Ø Creating a platform for Silk entrepreneurs from around the globe to develop joint investments and trade facilitation in between the countries
Ø Creating awareness and stronger environmental topic for silk production, business growth and investment
Ø Strengthen the communications of all silk industries and cultural exchanges
Ø Creating awareness for silk textiles and garment industry (environmental friendly product)
Ø Developing and enhancing the quality of silk yarn production
Ø Addressing environmental concerns and safeguarding silk heritage
3. International Silk Union Members Assembly
The member’s assembly was mainly focused on the activities and progress of ISU throughout the last two years of its life in operation. The ISU is an international and specialize non-profit organization in the silk industry which voluntarily constituted by the enterprises and related organizations of silk manufacturing and consuming countries. The Union is a cooperation and exchange platform for the international silk industry.
The introduction of ISU have shown that silk have its long history, originally from China and later on shared with the world. Silk in china is a big topic beyond what Cambodia silk sector can imagined. It has shaped from its own hand woven tradition to modern technology.
Up to 95% of silk productions are done by machine counting from spinning to final silk garment’s production. Silk worm breeding and mulberry growing industry is tending to develop toward the large scale and intensified pattern.
On the other hand, this meeting have shown the important part of becoming the member of International Silk Union (ISU) toward all the members and meeting participants from around the globe.
Chinese government have given great support to the union in order to carried out a series of work in promoting silk industry in China also international regions. ISU have launched The World Silk website (www.worldsilk.com.cn) and WeChat official account in late 2015 as the main information platform to promote the interconnection of the international silk industry.
This assembly have created a space for annual report dissemination and discussion for all members, also bring out concerned which rises within the industry in order to find the right solution for the concerned.
ISU have cooperated with more than one institutions and universities in China and others including:
· Quality and Technical Commission of INTERSOIE France
· University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
· Suzhou University
· Sericulture Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science
· Zhejiang Sci-Tech University
· Institute of Textile and Garment Engineering of Soochow University
· Sichuan Academy of Silk Science
· College of Animal Sciences of Zhejiang University
· Southwest University
· Development and Research Unit of Galia State of Sao Paulo Agribusiness Technology
· Institution of Natural Fibres&Medical Plants
· Silk Institute, College of Materials and Textiles of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University
· Sericulture Institute of Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Science
As of the above information shown that the Union have got a very strong members as it foundation in developing silk sector further. This is a very good opportunity for Cambodia to become the Union members and receiving all the support which needed for the Cambodia’s Silk Sector.
4. The Belt and Road Form for International Silk
4.1 MoU Signing Ceremony
The forum have included the MoU signing ceremony between International Silk Union (ISU) represented by Mr. Li Jilin, Chairman of ISU and Cambodia Silk Sector Promotion and Development Commission (SDC) represented by H.E Mao Thora, Secretary of State of MoC and Chairman of SDC as an opening of the forum. The SDC is fortunate to have made the connection and strides in this direction. By placing the focus on local and international cooperation for further support and development of the Cambodia silk sector. This cooperation will stressed whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches, highlighting the critical relevance of social, economic and environmental determinants of silk industry, and linking investment for silk with sustainable development, National Silk Sector Strategy 2016-2020 has set us on the right track.
4.2 The Forum
A wide range of leaders and guests have been introduced during the forum, also speakers including H.E Mao Thora, Secretary of State of MoC. Each speakers have expressed their concerned on the unstable price of raw material including raw silk yarn. H.E Mao thora have also highlighted on the silk sector in Cambodia and also the great concerned of the sector on the imported of raw silk (95% of raw silk are imported from Vietnam and China).
Based on statistical data of National Cocoon Silk Office of China 2016, the China Cocoon Silk Industry have shown the report of the cocoon production, which shown the mas-production of the cocoon for the silk industry supply. The total area of mulberry field throughout China was 11.8951 million mu in year 2016, the seed volume was 15.4813 million pieces, the silk cocoon yield was 0.6204 million tons and the silk worm cocoon acquisition mean price was RMB38.35 per kg (rose by 12.9% compared to 2015).
China is the major player with 82.42 percent share followed distantly by India with 15.49 per cent. As regards trade, China also dominates in exports of raw silk, silk yarn and silk fabrics with a global share of more than 90 per cent. It is relevant to note that while, production of silk in many countries have declined sharply except in China.
Silk yarn quality and prices still an annual concerned for the silk industry as a whole. The quality of the yarn are reflected by the environmental changes which was raised by the silk yarn producers of China.
According to the above information, there is a big gap between Chinese silk industry and Cambodia. The silk industry of Cambodia really need to look at producing its own raw material in order to survive in this industry and also to sustain the silk tradition of Khmer Empire.
5. Conclusion and Way forward
In this context, the Memorandum of Understanding we have signed during the forum (20 October 2017) in according to the National Silk Sector Strategy, brings Cambodia silk sector work in line with the goals and targets set out in the strategy and the Ministry of Commerce commitment to help support and develop the silk sector throughout the regions.
The priority areas of this partnership can be highlighted as bellowed:
Ø The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding marks the consolidation of a true partnership. The timing is right for Cambodia silk to seize the opportunity to harness the momentum of the silk strategy
Ø Regions are uniquely positioned and mandated to work across sectors, responding to people’s needs. This leadership on silk sector development, from local to global levels, will ensure that we follow a common approach
Ø Empowering people in Cambodia silk sector with effective strategy, one that gives priority to new approaches that empower people and build resilience and capacity to promote silk sector, greater capacity for economic and social participation
Ø Tackle challenges of both technical skills and human resources development
Ø To strengthen people-centred systems and public awareness capacity in order to achieve high-quality information in order to improve production and services of the sector
Ø To create resilient associations, communities and supportive environments. Urban policies and strategies are keys to protecting and promoting Khmer silk real identity and quality in relation to environment-friendly campaigned and related production risk factored. Local authorities played an important role in this area.
Last but not least, Cambodia will gains better support in becoming the member of ISU, as they are well equipped with all the support around the globe ranking from institutions, universities and international cooperation and companies.
Source: Cambodia Silk Sector Promotion and Development Commission（SDC）