Cambodia exported $791.66 million worth of goods to Japan in the first half of this year, slightly dipping 0.21 per cent compared to the $793.38 million in the same period last year, data from the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) shows.
Both countries committed to boosting bilateral trade to more than $2 billion this year, although the Covid-19 pandemic will make that more difficult.
Cambodia imported $218.61 million of goods from Japan during the period, a 39 per cent year-on-year decrease from $256 million.
Chhour Vichet, CEO of Sanco-Poipet Special Economic Zone (SPSEZ) operator Sanco Cambo Investment Group Co Ltd, told The Post on Thursday that the slip in Cambodian exports to Japan had been caused by a slowdown in Japanese companies’ auto parts production in SPSEZ during April-May.
He noted that production at the industrial park have picked up since June, but that exports of electronics and computer spare parts saw “huge” unimpeded growth in the first half.
He said SPSEZ covers more than 83ha in Poipet town, Banteay Meanchey province. Ten companies currently operate in the SEZ, nine of them Japanese-owned including NHK Spring, Steel Hub, SC Wado Component (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Techno Park Poi Pet Pvt Co Ltd and Koiwabond (Cambodia) Co Ltd.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on Thursday that the Kingdom’s mid-year exports don’t seem to be doing very well given the prolonged global health crisis, which is affecting the regional and global economies.
“The Covid-19 epidemic has led most people to put off buying consumer goods, so our exports – including electronics, clothing and footwear – are declining at the moment,” he said.
Between 1995 and September, there were 141 Japanese investment projects with $2.5 billion in capital investment, data from the Council for the Development of Cambodia shows.
Of these, 66 were in special economic zones with an estimated capital investment of $340 million.
Most of the projects were in the energy, electronic component assembly, auto spare parts, agro-industry, food processing, hospitality, health and retail sectors, the data shows.
Cambodian exports to Japan reached $1.7 billion last year, up 7.7 per cent from 2018, Jetro data show.