Kunihiko Hirabayashi, secretary-general of the ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC), has shown interest in the cultivation of Cambodian crops, saying he senses enormous potential for mangos, cashews and pepper in particular due to their "excellent tastes and unique aromas", according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Hirabayashi made the remarks while addressing a March 31 workshop -- “Cambodian dried fruits and agricultural products for Japanese markets" -- held both online and in person by the intergovernmental organisation and the commerce ministry's General Department of Trade Promotion.

“Cambodia has developed rapidly in the fields of textiles, construction and tourism, and especially agriculture. I believe the Kingdom focuses on sustainability, prosperity and health, safety and quality,” Hirabayashi was quoted as saying.

He added that the AJC will continue to cooperate with the Cambodian government to promote trade and investment to strengthen cooperation between the Kingdom and Japan, as well as to promote regional peace among all ASEAN members and Japan.

Kao Kosal, head of the general department, described Japan as a major regional market.

“This workshop aims to share knowledge and experience and boost exports of Cambodian dried fruits and agricultural products to Japan, as part of the post-pandemic economic recovery,” he said.

Kosal noted that in 2022, trade volume between Cambodia and Japan stood at more than $1.94 billion, with the Kingdom's exports worth over $1.17 billion.

Major Japanese investment projects in Cambodia include automobile assembly and technical equipment of agro-industry, food processing, hotels, tourism, hospitals and supermarkets.

“In addition to these investment projects, the Kingdom is home to about 1,700 Japanese large and small businesses in the banking, aviation and restaurant sectors,” Kosal added.