An 80-member strong delegation from Vietnam is taking part in the World Rice Conference launched in Phnom Penh on November 19.

The two-day event, the sixth of its kind, attracted 500 representatives of rice processing and exporting enterprises and associations from 40 countries and territories.

During the opening ceremony, Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce Sun Chanthol stressed that rice played an important role in global food security.

He asked exporting businesses to develop rice trade strategies with a view to ensuring food stability, which helps harmonise consumers, businesses and farmers’ interests.

A number of activities are planned as part of the conference, such as trade promotion events and workshops on increasing rice production and export effectiveness, measures to tackle the difficulties in rice exports, and trends and challenges in 2015.

In addition, the World’s Best Rice Award, with Cambodia currently as reigning winner, will be decided as part of the event.

General Secretary of the Vietnam Food Association Huynh Minh Hue said the conference served as a forum for Vietnamese enterprises to promote their brands and connect with other rice exporting businesses.

He added that Vietnam was focussing on improving rice quality, adding value to products, and increasing profit for producers, which all help boost the global image of Vietnamese rice.

Southeast Asia is one of the most important rice producing areas in the world. In recent years, Vietnam became the world’s second largest rice exporter, with the main markets including China and ASEAN member states.

The country aims to export 6.5-7 million tonnes of rice in 2014.-VNA