Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Jan-Aug Japan trade surges 17%

Jan-Aug Japan trade surges 17%

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia posted a trade surplus with Japan of $47.75 million in August, narrowing by 31.8 per cent on a yearly basis. Heng Chivoan

Jan-Aug Japan trade surges 17%

Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Japan in the first eight months of 2022 rose by more than one-sixth on-year, in a trend expected to carry into the foreseeable future, largely driven by agricultural exports from the Kingdom. Still, the business community is calling for greater efforts to identify and develop new products that could command high demand on the Japanese market.

Between January and August, trade between the two countries totalled $1.332 billion, rising by 16.86 per cent year-on-year, with Cambodian exports to Japan accounting for $789.167 million, up 10.65 per cent, and imports $543.095 million, up 27.22 per cent, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE).

The Kingdom’s trade surplus with Japan for the period narrowed by 14.0 per cent to $246.072 million.

In August alone, bilateral trade came to $194.74 million, up 21.0 per cent year-on-year, with Cambodian exports to Japan representing $121.24 million, up 5.0 per cent, and imports $73.49 million, up 61.5 per cent. The Kingdom’s trade surplus with Japan for last month shrunk by 31.8 per cent on a yearly basis to $47.75 million.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng told The Post that Japanese imports mostly comprise finished goods, including vehicles, electronics and machinery – especially for agricultural use – while the bulk of the Kingdom’s exports consist of textile-related items, agricultural products, and electrical equipment and components.

Cambodia-Japan trade will remain on a high growth trajectory for the time being, propelled by “good cooperation” between government leaders and investors of the two countries, he predicted, affirming that investment from Japanese companies into the Kingdom is currently on an upswing.

However, Cambodia must make more effort to find products that are in high demand on the Japanese market and ensure that they meet international standards, he suggested, indicating that agricultural goods will most likely remain one of the Kingdom’s primary exports to Japan going forward.

And just as there is ample demand for certain Japanese goods on the Cambodian market, the converse is also true, he claimed.

On September 7, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), the government’s highest decision-making body for large-scale investments, hosted the 24th Meeting of the Cambodia-Japan Joint Committee, presided over by its secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea.

The meeting was also attended by Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami as well as representatives of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japanese Business Association of Cambodia (JBAC), and several Japanese companies.

In summary, Chenda Sophea lauded the long-standing good political, diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries, while Mikami commended the Cambodian government for the new Law on Investment – promulgated on October 15, 2021 – which he said would help the Kingdom woo in more foreign investors.

According to the CDC, last month it greenlit one new Japanese investment project, bringing the total number of such ventures approved to 149 – with registered capital of $2.9 billion – since the council’s establishment on August 5, 1994.

However, this figure in all likelihood only accounts for Japanese investment project proposals planned outside of the Kingdom’s special economic zones (SEZ), as an earlier CDC report said it had approved 145 such non-SEZ ventures as of July 31, 2021, worth $2.8 billion, in addition to 66 developments valued at $340 million that were planned for SEZs, for a total of 211 Japanese investment projects.

Last year, bilateral trade between Cambodia and Japan amounted to $1.734 billion, up 1.21 per cent over 2020, with the Kingdom’s exports accounting for $1.094 billion, up 2.95 per cent, and imports $640.513 million, down 1.63 per cent, according to the GDCE. The Kingdom’s trade surplus with Japan expanded 10.215 per cent to $453.116 million.


  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry using ChatGPT AI to ‘ease workload’; Khmer version planned

    The Digital Government Committee is planning to make a Khmer language version of popular artificial intelligence (AI) technology ChatGPT available to the public in the near future, following extensive testing. On March 9, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications revealed that it has been using the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to