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Exports to Japan reach $296M

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Cambodia and Japan have committed to boosting bilateral trade to more than $2 billion this year. Heng Chivoan

Exports to Japan reach $296M

Cambodia exported $296 million of goods to Japan in the first two months of this year, up 2.4 per cent compared to 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 $70 million of goods from Japan during the period, a 10.8 per cent year-on-year increase.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng said the increase in exports to Japan reflects the flow of investment coming from the country into Cambodia.

“The increase of our exports to Japan is a very positive sign. Over the last few years we have received a lot of investment from Japan, and it increases every year.

“The investments help diversify our exports and bring in new technologies and skills,” said Heng, adding that Cambodia’s processing industry could also lure more investors.

“I do foresee that we will receive more investment in Cambodia post-Covid-19, as their government has promised to urge more Japanese investors to come to Cambodia,” he said.

At the 3rd Senior Official-Level meeting between Cambodia and Japan late last month, both sides expressed their optimism that the upward trend in bilateral trade, which increased to more than $2 billion last year, would continue this year despite the pandemic.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokeswoman Chea Kimtha said: “Japan has agreed to encourage relevant institutions to work closely together in improving the investment environment in Cambodia so as to attract more Japanese investors.”

Cambodia exported more than $1.7 billion worth of products to the Japanese market last year – up 7.7 per cent from 2018 – Jetro data shows.

The Kingdom imported more than $563 million of products from Japan, a 33.4 per cent increase from 2018, the data shows.

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.

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