Prime Minister Hun Manet is exploring the potential establishment of a Cambodia-Japan industrial park to secure Japan’s business and investment climate sustainability in the Kingdom. 

This proposal emerged during his meeting with Yoshihisa Kainuma, chairman and CEO of Minebea Mitsumi, on December 18, on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation commemorative summit in the Japanese capital Tokyo. 

Kainuma stated his company’s growth and expansion plans, prompting Manet to highlight Cambodia’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for business and investment, according to a press release. 

In response, Manet said the Cambodian government has implemented new policies, frameworks and infrastructural development to support both domestic and foreign investors, focusing on highways, railways and ports. 

“We’re exploring the potential for a Cambodia-Japan industrial garden and formulating a logistical master plan to position the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port as a regional core. Moreover, our commitment extends to enhancing the Kingdom’s investment environment with greater flexibility, ease and favourability,” he was quoted as saying.

On December 19, prior to his return to Cambodia, Manet chaired a 2023 investment conference addressing the Kingdom’s investment climate and business potential.

“This conference holds a crucial role in fostering trade and investment flow, business cooperation, innovation, mutual understanding and friendships between Cambodia and Japan,” Manet said.

The event welcomed nearly 700 investors, including over 600 Japanese investors participating both in person and online, along with more than 80 Cambodian investors.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), mentioned on December 19 that, following the workshop, numerous companies had expressed interest in investing in Cambodia. 

“We have seen [Manet’s] efforts to attract Japanese investors to Cambodia, particularly encouraging them to establish a special economic zone [SEZ] and a Cambodia-Japan industrial garden. This involves both public and private investments,” he said.

While accompanying Manet to the ASEAN-Japan commemorative summit, Minister of Commerce Cham Nimul met with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Ken Saito to discuss collaboration, strengthen friendships and enhance trade cooperation between the two nations.

According to the ministry, during the bilateral meeting, both parties acknowledged the success of trade between Cambodia and Japan. They discussed strategies to enhance business activity and trade flow, noting their commitment to implementing the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to bolster economic collaboration and relations.

Nimul said the participation of the Japanese private sector holds great importance in developing Cambodia’s economy, particularly in creating job opportunities and diversifying industry and trade.

“I urged the Japanese business community and investors to increase their involvement in business and investments in Cambodia. The government prioritises the agricultural and processing industry, textile and manufacturing, tourism and creative sectors, research and development, transport and logistics, technology and digital, financial and educational services. This focus includes the establishment of SEZs and industrial parks,” she added.