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$1.3m SEZ Japanese restaurant opens doors

In a $1.3 million investment, a new Japanese restaurant opened in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ) last week amid the large presence of Japanese companies in the area.

The 1,000-square-metre Tokyo Restaurant looks to “help to [showcase] the culture of Japanese food, and provide jobs for Cambodians,” said Morihiro Iijima, CEO of Keiaisha Company, which owns the restaurant. He also believes the restaurant would contribute to boosting business in the zone.

According to a map on the PPSEZ website that was last updated in mid-January, more than 60 companies were operating in the PPSEZ, of which 29 were Japanese.

Speaking at the restaurant’s opening ceremony last week, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An welcomed the new establishment. “It is not only to attract Japanese investors, but also Cambodian and other foreign investors,” she said.

Data from the Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh shows that Japanese investment totalled about $330 million last year, with a huge chunk coming from a $205 million shopping mall investment by AEON that is currently under construction. In 2011, Japanese investment was about $75 million.

In a recent trade figure provided by the Japan External Trade Organization, bilateral trade between Cambodia and Japan reached $177 million in the first three months this year, a 13 per cent rise compared with the corresponding period last year.

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