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Japanese bank to boost local investments

Japanese Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) signed an agreement yesterday with local Canadia Bank to shore up Japanese growth in Cambodia and to demonstrate its confidence in the Kingdom’s financial sector.

BTMU’s managing executive officer, Takami Onodera, and Pung Kheav Se, chairman of Canadia Bank, yesterday signed the agreement with the intention of bringing more Japanese investors to Cambodia.

Chea Serey, deputy director of general banking supervision at the National Bank of Cambodia, said during the ceremony that the agreement will boost the Kingdom’s development.

“It also shows further confidence in Cambodia’s banking sector,” she added.

Michael Lor, chief executive officer of Canadia Bank, said the agreement will help both companies to provide advice for finding customers and to provide banking services to Japanese investors in Cambodia to boost their investment.

“More and more Japanese companies will come to Cambodia,” Lor predicted yesterday.

The flow of Japanese investors into the Kingdom has picked up noticeably in the last three years, according to data from the Japanese embassy to Cambodia.

Japanese investment totalled about $330 million last year, a big jump from about $75 million in 2011.

Furthermore, data from the Japanese Business Association of Cambodia show that there were 101 Japanese companies here at the end of 2012, an increase from 69 the year before.

Yuji Kumamaru, the Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, said yesterday that the alliance is a good example of co-operation in the private sector between two countries.

“It will benefit all companies including Japanese companies that are already here and those who are looking to expand [their] business to Cambodia,” Kumamaru told participants at the ceremony yesterday.  

According to Chea Serey, total assets of Cambodia’s banking system accounted for 76 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product at the end of last year, reflecting the growing importance of the banking sector in the Cambodian economy.

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