The Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation within the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and East Asia Business Council framework.

The Ministry of Commerce said the regional cooperation framework is aimed at promoting trade and investment between Japan, ASEAN and East Asian countries, and co-organising the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

The growth of the trade sector, thanks to the development of a good business environment along with workshops, conferences and trade fairs, can spur Japanese private companies to invest in Cambodia.

The MoU was signed by chamber president Kith Meng and JETRO representative Marisa Haruta on May 5.

According to CCC, the MoU will strengthen and deepen the cooperation between the two institutions, build a good relationship and ensure maximum benefit for members during the 2022 ASEAN Summit, hosted by Cambodia.

In the last 10 years, CCC and JETRO have collaborated on a number of common programmes, with both accomplishing “remarkable” implementations of programmes and projects.

Chamber vice-president Lim Heng told The Post that both entities have been working together for a long time to boost bilateral and regional trade, and will work the ministry to push for a free trade agreement between Cambodia and Japan.

In addition, both sides also hope to boost more direct flights from Cambodia to Japan and vice versa.

“Both institutions have a lot of work to promote trade and investment to Cambodia and the region for the economic growth of both countries,” Heng said.

Dr Chheng Kimlong, an economist at the Asian Vision Institute, told The Post that the MoU would complement the government’s efforts to increase trade and investment.

Kimlong said the private sector has an important role to play in spurring the connection between the private sector and mobilising its investors to find potential growth in ASEAN and East Asia.

“The private sector knows about return on investment and the benefits of a bilateral, multilateral free trade agreement along with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

“Recently, heads of government have also been promoting bilateral trade between Cambodia and Japan,” he said.