A leading figure in the banking industry emphasised that the recent meeting between Cambodian and Japanese businessmen will play a crucial role in attracting more Japanese investors to the country. The statement comes as trade between the two countries exceeded $1.5 billion during the first ten months of 2023.

In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA Bank, stated during a November 20 meeting at the bank’s head office that the interaction between Cambodian business partners and Japanese financiers presents a chance for both to explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities. 

He highlighted that the country’s investment laws and geographical location are advantageous.

With 30 Cambodian and 28 Japanese companies in attendance, Channy stressed that the meeting aimed at the broader benefit of Cambodia, not just the bank.

“Japanese investors have made a wise decision by investing in Cambodia, a country characterised by complete and profound peace. These decisions are well-founded, as Cambodia provides favourable investment conditions that meet the needs of [financiers],” he said.

The meeting, in collaboration with the Japan-Cambodia Association, was their third joint business matching forum.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), stated that despite a decline in trade volume between the two countries, he is optimistic about a recovery. 

He attributed this positivity to Japan’s membership in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP).

He noted that Cambodia now exports a variety of agricultural products to Japan, in addition to textiles.

“To further boost trade cooperation, the CCC has established a representative office in Sendai, Japan,” he said. “The office is instrumental in drawing Japanese investment to Cambodia and encouraging more Japanese companies to procure Cambodian-made products.”

He attributed the nearly 20% decrease in imports from Japan to the Kingdom’s expanding capacity to grow, process and produce.

Heng noted that Cambodia’s primary exports to Japan include garments, footwear, components and agricultural products, while imports from Japan encompass machinery, automobiles, electronics and agricultural machinery.

Trade between Cambodia and Japan in the first ten months of 2023 totalled $1.5 billion, a decrease of 8.5% from the previous year.

Cambodia’s exports to Japan amounted to $974.94 million, a 1.4% decline, while Japan’s imports to Cambodia were $529.03 million, a 19.3% decrease, as per the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE).