Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japanese companies still avoid Cambodia

Japanese companies still avoid Cambodia

Japanese companies still avoid Cambodia

A LACK of information about investment coupled with Cambodia’s small manufacturing sector has dissuaded Japanese businesses from setting up in the Kingdom, an industry expert said Thursday.

“The lack of information is the biggest obstacle for Japanese investors who want to make decisions about whether to invest in Cambodia,” said Yuji Imamura of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), who is also the advisor in charge of investment and environmental improvement at the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

Imamura said that most Japanese investors are interested in the manufacturing industry.

He pointed out that Cambodia has only 21 special economic zones (SEZ), where the Government can give manufacturers tax incentives. Only eight are currently operational, attracting just 36 businesses.

“There are only a few SEZs in Cambodia, compared to those of Vietnam and Thailand. Vietnam has up to 218,” he said.

According to CDC data for 2009, Japanese investment in Cambodia dropped 39 percent to US$4.76 million in 2009, from $7.82 million in 2008. Japan was ranked the 12th-largest international investor in the Kingdom.

He predicted that there will be more Japanese investors in Cambodia after the SEZ at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is completed in 2011 courtesy of a $40 million soft loan from Japan.

“Many Japanese investors have expressed their interest in Sihanoukville SEZ,” he added.

Ajinomoto, a Japanese company producing MSG among other food flavourings,

Ichiro Nishimura, the CEO of Ajinomoto (Cambodia) Ltd, a manufacturer of food flavourings including MSG, previously told the Post that Japanese firms often have a negative perception of Cambodia, but that is usually changed upon visiting the country.

His company is building a new factory in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,