Standing as one of the largest economies in Asia, Japan is quickly becoming a prime market for Cambodian goods. Even with both economies embroiled in the Covid-19 crisis, bilateral trade managed to reach $1.96424 billion in the first 10 months of 2020, climbing by 12.2 per cent year-on-year from $1.75039 billion.

The Kingdom’s exports to Japan during the period were worth $1.48719 billion, rising by 9.34 per cent year-on-year from $1.36013 billion, and imports clocked in at $477.05 million, a 22.24 per cent year-on-year surge from $390.26 million, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro).

Jetro listed garments, and electrical appliances and electronics as key Cambodian exports to Japan; and machinery, electronics and high-tech products as the main imports.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng presented Japan as an important market with great potential for the Kingdom, which he said has significantly contributed to the diversification of industries such as machinery, electronics and modern technology.

“We have a lot of opportunities to boost our exports, especially in the agricultural sector, where Japanese investment would bring in new tech and a skilled workforce to our country,” he said.

He posited that through existing regional agreements with ASEAN and other bilateral arrangements, Cambodia could continue to encourage and reel in Japanese investors, to increase exports and boost economic diversification.

Last year as the Covid-19 crisis took hold, bilateral trade between Cambodia and Japan clocked in at $2.10178 billion last year, down by 8.35 per cent from 2019, Jetro data show.

Cambodian exports were to the tune of $1.61708 billion in 2020, dipping by 6.6 per cent year-on-year, and imports were $484.70 million, falling by 13.8 per cent year-on-year, according to Jetro. This indicates that the Kingdom’s trade surplus with Japan was $1.1324 billion.

The Kingdom attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of $39 billion in the first half of 2021, with Japan ranking as the fifth largest source, with total registered capital of $2.3 billion, the National Bank of Cambodia reported.