By Phok Dorn and Philip Heijmans - October 23, 2012
percent of all outbound parcels leaving Cambodia via the state-owned
postal service contain local food products that are delivered to
Cambodians living abroad, an official at Cambodia Post said yesterday.
Ork Bora, general director of Cambodia Post, said that of the total
26,678 packages, not including documents, which were sent during the
first nine months of the year, 18,675 contained local delicacies such
as prahok and dried fish.
“It is a bit expensive to have to mail out these kinds of foods, but
Cambodians that are working or living in other countries do not really
like the taste of foreign foods,” he said, adding that South Korea,
Malaysia and Japan were among the top destinations for the parcels.
“We are seeing that our people are sending food to their friends or
family as far as the United States and France,” he added. Mr. Bora said
that the remaining parcels mostly contained small souvenirs.
According to a pricelist for parcels at the post office in Phnom
Penh, the delivery of a package weighing between 1 kg and 5 kg—a common
size for food deliveries—to Malaysia or Singapore costs $16 to $28
respectively, while the same shipment to South Korea or Hong Kong costs
$20 to $44.
“My grandmother lives in the United States and I send her fermented
fish many times a year. When somebody comes to visit Cambodia, my
mother will send prahok back with them and other dried fish because we
do not want to spend so much at the post office since it is too
expensive,” said Sun Thyda, a 20-year-old student in Phnom Penh.
Revenues at Cambodia Post reached $2.87 million through the first
nine months of the year, a 3.97 percent increase compared to the same
period last year, Mr. Bora said, adding that profits had reached
$300,000 before taxes.
“Right now, we are in the low-season so we expect deliveries to pick
up again in November and December, so we are expecting growth to be
around 10 percent for the year,” he said.
In June 2010, Cambodia’s postal service gained complete independence
from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) by becoming a
public enterprise. Prior to the split, Mr. Bora said the postal service
made no profits.
“Since we detached from the MPTC, we went from making no profit to
where we are now,” he said, adding that plans were in store to list on