The Kingdom’s exports to Japan rebounded in the first half of the year, jumping from single-digit growth last year to 19 per cent, new figures from the Japanese External Trade Organization (Jetro) showed.
During the first half of last year, Cambodian exports to Japan grew by 4.5 per cent, while it rose by 4.6 per cent for the whole year. It marked the first time since the financial crisis of 2008 that growth stayed in single digits.
Figures from Jetro revealed that the Kingdom has sent goods worth over $700 million to the island nation over the first six months of this year, marking a growth of 19 per cent over the same period last year.
Goods imported from Japan also saw a rise of 9.1 per cent over the same period and were valued at $191 million.
The Supreme National Economic Council’s senior adviser, Mey Kalyan, said the rebound of exports is a welcome move, despite the fact that the country is in a sensitive period due to the national elections.
“It is a good move to diversify the items Cambodia exports as well as export destinations,” he said, adding that the increase of Japanese investment in the Kingdom has accelerated bilateral trade.
“Japan is a market that requires high-quality products so once Cambodia is able to export more to Japan, it proves that our export capacity is strong,” Kalyan said.
Cambodia’s major export items are garments and shoes, while bags and electrical parts are also picking up speed, according to Hiroshi Suzuki, CEO of the Business Research Institute for Cambodia (BRIC).
He said Cambodia’s major import items from Japan include machinery, electrical items and motorbikes.
Suzuki predicted that the export of garments and shoes to Japan follow a growing trend, while new items such as electrical parts and products manufactured by Japanese companies in Cambodia will also continue to grow.
Japan has continued to channel money into the Kingdom, Suzuki said, adding that projects span the manufacturing, retail, restaurant, telecommunications, IT, banking and energy sectors.
“From now on, it is expected that Japanese SMEs will come to Cambodia not only from Japan but also from neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and China.”
Data from the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) showed that Japan’s foreign direct investment into Cambodia topped $822 million in 2016.
The CDC’s figure showed that Japanese investment in Cambodia over the last 25 years through May last year totalled $1.5 billion, with the bulk of it injected after 2010.