Exports to Japan rocketed in the first quarter of the year thanks to a surge in recent foreign direct investment and direct air flights.
According to the latest figures from the Japan External Trade Organisation, exports to Japan were almost $334 million in the first quarter compared with $243 million in the same quarter last year, an increase of more than 37 percent.
In Channy, board chairman of the Cambodia-Japan Association for Business and Investment, said yesterday that the flow of Japanese direct investment into Cambodia in recent years meant trade between the nations was flourishing.
“We noticed that we got a lot of foreign direct investment from Japan in recent years,” he said.
“We did not have much many years ago but it was third among the top ten FDI sources last year after Vietnam.
“That is one of the main points pushing trade up,” Mr Channy said.
Mr Channy said the flow of FDI from Japan did not only give Cambodia added value but also helped build the kingdom’s skilled human resources.
“The Japanese have not only come to invest in light industries like the garment and footwear sectors but also in medium industries like semiconductors, electronics and auto parts,” he said.
“In addition, direct flights from Japan to Cambodia add momentum to our trade relations. It is good for our economy.”
When the government released the 2015-2025 Industry Development Policy two years ago, Japanese ambassador Hidehisa Horinouchi said he would encourage more Japanese investment in the kingdom to help the government because he believed Cambodia would see development and progress in all sectors.
Mr Channy added that Japan would be a main player in the IDP “to make the government’s dream a reality”.
“In accordance with the IDP, more Japanese investment would help the country to be less reliant on garment exports and move its industries into producing more high-end products, like auto parts.”
Akira Odagaki, general manager of Isuzu’s representative office for Cambodia and Laos, said in Bangkok previously that the automobile company is focussing on Cambodia due to the kingdom’s growth.
“Cambodia’s economic growth has been very impressive and now, it’s one of the fastest-growing economies in Asean,” he said.
“These are all the plus points we tend to look at.
“We forecast a stable growth for new automobiles in Cambodia. For us, at Isuzu, we expect more than ten percent market growth overall in the country.
“In five years’ time, we hope to have a 30 percent market share of the light commercial vehicle market.”
According to the latest figures from the Japan External Trade Organisation, exports to Japan reached more than $1.2 billion last year, an increase of 24.4 percent compared with a year earlier.