English Abstract

Natural Rubber Industries in Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos

Yamaguchi University, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8611, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2011),84(9),274-281 General Review in Japanese

This paper focuses on the natural rubber industries in Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos. In recent years, the demand of natural rubber for tires has been increasing under the background of the expansion of automobile industries.
Today, major suppliers of natural rubber are concentrated to Asian countries, especially Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Moreover, planting and cultivation of natural rubber has been increasing dramatically in Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos. Main reasons are 1) continuous uptrend of the international market price of natural rubber after 2002, 2) increase of large-scale foreign direct investments to develop natural rubber estates by neighboring countries and 3) technology diffusion of high-yield clone, fertilizer and other equipment among small holders. These three countries still have much uncultivated land that are suitable for natural rubber planting and cultivation at cheap land cost compared with neighboring countries. In these three countries, labor cost is also lower than other natural rubber producing countries. Natural rubber planting and cultivation is labor intensive process and these three countries have comparative advantage. In the near future, natural rubber industries in these three countries expanded and would be paid more attention.

Keywords: Natural rubber, TSR, RSS, Estate, Small holder, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar