Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Virtual expo promotes bilateral trade

Virtual expo promotes bilateral trade

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The launch of the virtual ‘Good Goods Japan 2021’ was held from February 3 to 4.

Virtual expo promotes bilateral trade

Japan has turned to online promotions to maintain bilateral trade momentum with Cambodia as commerce exchanges slumped due to measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Virtual trade fairs and the sharing of information electronically are just some of the enterprising initiatives taken up by the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro), which has offices in Phnom Penh.

With the coronavirus outbreak putting the brakes on economic and social activities across the globe – with restrictions on international travel, lockdowns and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus – trade between the two nations has also been disrupted.

According to Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce, imports declined 33.9 percent while exports dropped 15.8 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019. In total, bilateral trade fell about 23 per cent last year compared to 2019.

“While we are in a severe and uncertain situation, a survey by JETRO conducted last September shows that Cambodia has the fastest recovery rates from Covid-19 in the Asean region.

“At this moment, we are striving to increase trade through online promotions,”said JETRO’s chief representative for Phnom Penh Marisa Haruta.

To kick-start this year, Jetro hosted the “Good Goods Japan 2021” – an online business-matching event from February 3-4 to introduce Japanese products such as beauty products, kitchen appliances and baby products.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Some 22 Japanese companies participated in the virtual fair.

“Some 22 Japanese companies showcased 80 products during the online fair, which linked Japanese suppliers with potential Cambodian buyers.

“While JETRO has been facilitating this kind of event for more than 10 years in other countries, this was the first time for us to hold one in Cambodia.

“By having linked Japanese suppliers with Cambodian buyers and conducted business matching online to connect Cambodian and Japanese businessmen, the event will have been of great benefit to the business communities in both countries.

“This had the aim of increasing trade volume by getting high quality products into the Cambodian market,” Haruta said.

Every year prior to Covid-19, JETRO’s Phnom Penh office has cooperated with the Council for the Development of Cambodia to organise the “Cambodian Investment Seminar” in Japan.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
JETR0 plays a key role in sharing information with business communities.

This is to share information about the strong investment environment and potential investment opportunities in Cambodia to Japanese businesses looking to invest in the Kingdom.

“However, due to Covid-19, some plans have been postponed. We are waiting for the new investment law in Cambodia to be issued so that we will be able to promote Cambodia even more.

“Moreover, JETRO Phnom Penh is still sharing information on the Cambodian investment climate online for Japanese investors to use while considering investing and growing their business here.

“With a spirit to work even more closely with the Ministry of Commerce, the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce and the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia, we expect more programmes and projects will present themselves in the near future.

“We cannot increase trade without strong cooperation from our partners. We need to work together to further build business,” said Haruta.

JETRO conducted over 15 online promotions last year to promote food, agriculture, digitalisation, animation and disaster prevention, among others.


  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and