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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japanese companies face domestic employee shortage

Japanese companies face domestic employee shortage

People attend a job fair for Japanese companies in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Japanese companies are facing a shortage of skilled workers which is hindering progress in Japanese-owned electronic factories, the Japanese Business Association of Cambodia (JBAC) said.

The statement comes after the Asian Development Bank said in April that a shortage of skilled workers would continue to hinder Cambodia’s economic progress.

Japanese companies currently need about 20,000 to 30,000 skilled workers but employs approximately 10,000 workers, said Kiyotaka Doho, general secretary of JBAC, which consists of 114 Japanese companies.

In late 2011, there were 86 Japanese companies registered in Cambodia in the first six months of this year and another 68 companies registered at the Ministry of Commerce, Kiyotaka Doho said during a Japanese companies job fair yesterday.

Many Japanese companies establish factories to produce electronics but Cambodian workers are often unfamiliar with the production of electronic goods, he said.

“Japanese companies coming to Cambodia don’t focus on employees from the universities, but they want all workers to be trained in the necessary skills,” he said.

Yazaki Products in Koh Kong’s Special Economic Zone, which manufactures wiring-harnesses for cars for export to Thailand, now employs more than 500 workers, and plans to increase to about 3,000 within the next three years, said Kenji Uemantsuis, general director of Yazaki Products Corporate Planning Division.

Labour costs have increased in Thailand leading to some factories in Thailand expanding to Cambodia, which was the driving force behind the move of his own company, he said.

In its 2012 outlook on Cambodia, the Asian Development Bank identified skill shortages among workers as a major hindrance to development.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at



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