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Japan and Cambodia plan framework to increase trade

Harrison White

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) are looking to further boost relationships with the planning of two agreements as trade between the two nations hit $2.1 billion in the first 11 months of 2021.

The two agreements will outline how the institutions can cooperate at a bilateral level and a regional level through the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and East Asia Business Council.

Kith Meng President of CCC suggested JETRO to cooperate and support other programs organized by CCC as well as by ASEAN Business Advisory Council and East Asia Business Council for the interest of the whole private sector and regional economic recovery.

Marisa Haruta country representative of JETRO also welcomed the planned enhanced cooperation with CCC to promote and attract Japanese investors to Cambodia.

She also briefed the chamber about major activities and projects carried out by JETRO and requested support from the CCC. In addition, Haruta emphasized that 2022 will be a good year as Cambodia is the Chair of ASEAN and that we should showcase Cambodia’s real potential to the world.

Trade increases 11% year-on-year

Trade between Cambodia and Japan reached $2.148 billion in the first eleven months of 2021, up 11% year-on-year from $1.922 billion, according to the data provided by the organization.

Cambodian exports to Japan amounted to $1.623 billion, increasing by more than 9% year-on-year from $1.488 billion, and imports were valued at $525.62 million, an increase by 21.5% on a yearly basis from $432.59 million, the data added.

May be an image of 11 people and people standing

Most recently Kith Meng’s Royal Group purchased a majority stake in Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone – one of the first and biggest SEZs in Cambodia which contributes to the economic development of Cambodia by bringing in more than 100 manufacturing and service companies from 12 different countries and employing more than 32,000 people.

Japan leads in logistics and supply chains

Cambodia Investment Review previously reported that one of the most highly anticipated areas of growth and development is Cambodia’s potential to become a regional logistics hub for ASEAN – recently buoyed by the announcement of Japanese retailer AEON.

AEON has stated it plans to develop a free trade zone and port that will feature the first bonded warehouse in Cambodia that will allow importers to store products from abroad without paying duties.

Speaking at a recent event, Toru Takei from Nippon Express highlighted Cambodia’s logistics opportunities for storage services, exporting more Cambodian products – such as industrial and agricultural products – and cold chain logistics (predominately for pharmaceutical and fresh or frozen foods).

Originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO’s core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.

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