The outgoing Japanese Ambassador in Phnom Penh has been asked to urge manufacturers of bicycle components from his country to invest in factories in the Kingdom.
Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak made the request on Tuesday during a meeting to bid farewell to Ambassador Hidehisa Horinouchi.
“Cambodia is the second-largest exporter of bicycles to the European market but some equipment and components need to be imported from other countries in the region.
“If big bicycle manufacturers like Japan’s Shimano invested in the industry here it would boost local production tremendously,” the minister said.
He noted that Cambodia is now transitioning into industries that demand more skilled labour, a move outlined in its Industrial Development Policy for the years 2015-2025.
Ambassador Hidehisa praised the progress achieved in the countries’ bilateral relationship, particularly the Cambodian government’s efforts to improve the business and investment climate for Japanese firms.
He said he will continue to encourage Japanese investors to do business in Cambodia.
Last year, Cambodia exported 1.5 million bicycles to the EU, worth a combined $331 million, according to a World Bank report released in May.
In 2017, Cambodia became the largest bicycle supplier to the EU, overtaking Taiwan. That year the Kingdom supplied 1.4 million bicycles to the bloc.
Figures from the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) shows that from January to June this year, Cambodian exports to Japan were valued at $792 million, a 12 percent increase compared to the same period last. Cambodia bought $256 million worth of Japanese goods, a 34 percent year-on-year hike.
In 2018, trade with Japan increased by 27.3 percent. More than $1.6 billion worth of goods were sent to Japan, according to Jetro. Cambodia bought about $421 million in Japanese goods, a 17.8 increase.