The growth of Cambodian exports to Japan, which have registered in the double-digits for nearly the last decade, slowed to only 2 percent growth during the first nine months of this year, according to newly released data from the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro).
Jetro reported that so far this year exports to Japan from the Kingdom amounted to $954 million, representing a small 2 percent year-on-year increase.
This has been the first year since the global financial crisis of 2008 for Cambodia to have a single-digit increase in its exports to Japan. According to Jetro’s data, last year saw $934 million in exports to Japan in the first nine months, representing a 28 percent increase compared to the same period a year before. By the end of 2016, Cambodia’s exports had reached $1.2 billion in total, marking a 24.5 percent increase from 2015.
Cambodian exports to Japan have surged since 2013, when heavy Japanese investment into the Kingdom began to encourage local production of goods for export.
According to data from the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), Japan’s foreign direct investment into Cambodia topped $822 million last year. While Japan has continued to funnel money into the Kingdom, it seems to have shifted its main funding projects from the manufacturing sector to the retail, restaurant and service industries.
Analysts speculate that the slower growth of exports to Japan could be the result of weaker investment by Japanese manufacturers.