Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Confident investors reaping rewards of Kingdom’s blossoming consumer society

Confident investors reaping rewards of Kingdom’s blossoming consumer society

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Japanese investments are found in almost all sectors, including infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

Confident investors reaping rewards of Kingdom’s blossoming consumer society

The wave of consumerism spreading across the Kingdom is encouraging more Japanese investors to consider Cambodia as an attractive market in the region to promote their products and services.

Bilateral trade between Japan and Cambodian touched $1.9 billion in the first 10 months of 2019 – a sign that Japanese investors’ confidence in the Kingdom’s economy and its flourishing consumer society remains sturdy.

“There were around 40 Japanese companies registered but now there are close to 300 companies,” Japan External Trade Organization’s (Jetro) chief representative in Cambodia Miyao Masahiro told The Post.

Japanese investments are found in almost all sectors of the Cambodian economy – from supermarkets, garments and lifestyle, to physical infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

Major Japanese brands like Matsushita, Aeon Mall, Panasonic Corp, NTT Communications, Sumitomo Corp, Nippon Express and All Nippon Airways have established their offices in Phnom Penh.

“From an economic point of view, we have contributed to Cambodia’s growth and trade. Japanese companies hire and train Cambodian people. We help to increase its GDP [gross domestic product] and exports.

“So we are contributing to Cambodia’s economy and development through economic activities,” Masahiro said.

Rapid urbanisation due to rural-urban migration, the growth of an affluent consumer society plus rising consumer spending due to higher disposable income are all driving consumption – a boon to foreign investors.

Japanese hypermarket Aeon Mall, for instance, plans to open its third supermarket along Hun Sen Boulevard after entering the domestic market in 2014 (Aeon 1 is located along Sothearos Boulevard, with Aeon 2 in Sen Sok City), a clear reflection of a strong consumerism market.

“Other areas that we are interested in are education and healthcare. We are really keen to promote these areas. There will be a chance for Japanese companies to invest and a chance for Cambodians to have access to affordable new services,” Masahiro added.

He said Cambodia could take advantage of the “Thailand-Plus-One” strategy whereby Japanese companies extend their supply chain network based in Thailand to neighbouring countries.

“Many Tier-1 and Tier-2 companies are based in Thailand, and Cambodia can become a base for Tier-3 and Tier-4 companies that can supply products and services to those based in Thailand.

“Cambodian government is giving subsidies and labour costs are less than half [of Thailand], so it is really profitable. Many Japanese companies and other foreign companies are investing in Poipet town, which borders Thailand.

“Poipet is becoming a popular destination for Japanese investors. While the main companies are in Thailand, they can use Cambodia as part of their regional access. This is part of the Thailand-Plus-One strategy, which is popular among Japanese companies,” Masahiro said.

Japanese investors are also eyeing opportunities to work with local companies to develop quality products for the export market.

“There are lot of Cambodian products that do not reach the international market, so we need to add value to these products so that they can be exported.

“Cambodian pepper, cashew nuts, cassava and coffee are products that could be exported on a large scale and in a sustainable manner as this would definitely help local producers,” Masahiro said.


  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’