Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Electronics sector pioneer Minebea sees rapid growth for Kingdom ops




Electronics sector pioneer Minebea sees rapid growth for Kingdom ops

Yasuyuki Inoue, vice president of Minebea Cambodia
Yasuyuki Inoue, vice president of Minebea Cambodia Vireak Mai

Electronics sector pioneer Minebea sees rapid growth for Kingdom ops

After more than three years of operating in Cambodia, Minebea, one of the largest Japanese electronics makers, has become very successful. Yasuyuki Inoue, vice president of Minibea Cambodia, sat down to talk to the Post’s business editor, May Kunmakara, about the factory.

When did you start the factory here? Why did you decide to invest in Cambodia?
Actually, we started operating in Cambodia in 2011, starting with 300 employees in a temporary motor factory in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone. Now, as of the end of last month, we have 6,500 employees here working with different types of motor assembly and also working on the backlight for smartphones. We already had several factories before the one in Cambodia; our manufacturing site in Thailand, which employs around 33,000, and we also had factories in Malaysia, Singapore and China.

However, the salaries of our employees in those countries were much more expensive than what we had anticipated – that’s why we decided to look for a country with a cheaper workforce. So, we did the feasibility study in the year 2000 and then we decided to open a factory Cambodia in after we concluded that it met our needs.

Your factory is quite new in Cambodia, how do you find the human resources here?
Well, the skill of our employees is quite good – let’s say after their first three to six months, their productivity compared to other factories is similar or sometimes even better. They are skillful and have great ability.

Where are your products exported to?
We are shipping to our customers all over the world through our logistics centre in Thailand. That’s why we ship our products back to Thailand, then subsequently ship them to their destination.

Where do you import the raw materials from?
Actually, our components are coming from our other factories in Thailand, Malaysia and China. We would like to make the components here, however we also have difficulties because in order to make the components, we need machinery and the machinery needs electricity. Here in Cambodia, the electricity is too expensive, so that’s why for us it is much more convenient to get the parts from our other factories to assemble here and then ship back to Thailand.

Right now, there are strikes over the minimum wage with many garment factories. Are the strikes affecting you?
Of course, we are also facing a problem with the minimum wage. However, we believe we are treating our employees as part of our family; they have their own dormitory and we also provide transportation from Phnom Penh to our factory. Our minimum wage is $100 per month as we follow GMAC’s regulation.

Has the political deadlock affected your operations?
Actually, more than 90 per cent of our employees come from the provinces – not the city of Phnom Penh – so because of the confusion in some areas, their families call them and tell them Phnom Penh is dangerous, come back to the provinces. So, at the time, they quit their job here and went back home – more than 20 per cent left. But, the situation has improved recently. Now we have increased our employee numbers to more than 2,000 within seven weeks. But, of course, after the election, we also had the problem with the minimum wage demonstrations. Now, however, it seems to be very calm. Some employees also bring their family or friends to work here.

What is your business plan for this year and the coming years?
We’re going to be more stable than last year. Our business is expanding more rapidly than we expected because of good workers – they have good intentions and great passion for our business in Cambodia. We’re also aiming to expand as a pioneer of the industry. We have very good support from the Cambodian people. So we are now expanding. We believe that we are going to achieve our target for this year as well.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there