Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - JETRO guiding Japanese investment in the Kingdom



JETRO guiding Japanese investment in the Kingdom

Japanese-owned Aeon Mall in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied
Japanese-owned Aeon Mall in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

JETRO guiding Japanese investment in the Kingdom

Some 1,500 Japanese companies have registered in Cambodia since JETRO established its Phnom Penh office in 2010.

For nearly a decade since establishing an office in Phnom Penh, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has been collecting vital investment statistics and playing an active role in bringing new Japanese investment to Cambodia.

Masashi Kono, chief representative of the JETRO Phnom Penh Office, said the office functions as a bridge between Japan and Cambodia. JETRO supports Japanese investors that are considering establishing a presence in the Kingdom by matching them with suitable Cambodian companies and potential partners. It also produces economic reports throughout the year, helping investors understand the local investment climate and how it compares to neighbouring countries to help investors make informed decisions before sinking in capital.

“JETRO collects information on investment, economics, law, finance and all business sectors and we provide that information to potential investors in Japan so as to support their investment,” said Kono.

JETRO Phnom Penh works closely with the Japanese Business Association of Cambodia (JBAC)and Kono is also the secretary-general of JBAC.

“After [Japanese companies] set up a business in Cambodia, JETRO supports them through JBAC,”said Kono.

“We hold many seminars, working groups and meetings, as well as a ‘Government-Private Sector meeting’ twice a year. This meeting is privileged for Japanese [investors] only.”

When JETRO opened in 2010, the numbers of JBAC members were about 50. Today membership has exceeded 250.

According to Kono, about 1,500 Japanese companies have registered in Cambodia between 2010 and 2017.

Labour-intensive industries such as garment and footwear are very attractive for foreign investors. However, the increase in Japanese FDI in Cambodia has played a crucial role in diversifying the Kingdom’s economy, helping to move away from low-level labour-oriented work toward higher-value services and skilled manufacturing.

Many large Japanese investments have been made outside the garments industry. Sunrise Healthcare Service established the first Japanese hospital in Cambodia, with the $35 million facility opening in 2016. Aeon Mall, the country’s largest shopping mall, opened in 2014 with over $200 million invested by its Japanese parent firm and plans for a second mall to open this year. Large Japanese manufacturers, including Minebea, Denso, Sumitomo and Ajinomoto, have already set up factories in Cambodia’s special economic zones.

According to Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) figures, Japanese investment in Cambodia over the last 25 years through May 2017 totalled $1.5 billion, with the bulk of it injected after 2010. The increase in investment has accelerated bilateral trade between Cambodia and Japan. In 2010, trade amounted to $366 million; by 2017 it topped $1.61 billion. Of that, Cambodian exports to Japan amounted to $1.26 billion.

While a large portion of Japanese FDI has been directed into Cambodia’s manufacturing and services sectors, Kono said agriculture also offers a number of promising opportunities.

“We consider agriculture as the segment with the most potential,” he said.

Founded in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has partnered with the Japanese government to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement