LyLy Kameda Co. Ltd, a joint venture between Japanese firm Kameda Seika and local business LyLy Food Industry, on Saturday launched operations in the Kingdom.
Its factory – located on Porsenchey district, in the outskirts of Phnom Penh – will manufacture rice crackers and other snacks.
Kameda holds a 51 percent stake in the new business, while the rest is owned by LyLy Food Industry. The firm has a starting capital of about 16 million.
Cambodia is now the sixth country outside Japan where Kameda has set up operations, following Thailand and the United States. Kameda is the first Japanese rice cracker manufacturer with factories in the Kingdom.
Keo Mom, LyLy Kameda chairperson, said the factory can produce three thousand tonnes of crackers and snacks per year, adding that the facility will produce five different types of crackers.
The factory began production in January and its products are mostly exported to Australia and New Zealand, Ms Mom said, noting that the company is looking to begin shipping to new markets.
“Every day we send a 40-foot container to Australia and New Zealand, and we are now considering exporting to China, Canada, and the United States,” she said. The products are shipped through Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and pass through Singapore before reaching their final destination in a journey that takes about one month, she noted.
Besides the new factory, LyLy Food Industry has its own cracker factory. Ms Mom explained that 65 percent of the crackers produced at LyLy Food Industry’s plant are exported.
Michiyasu Tanaka, chairman and CEO of Kameda Seika, said, “We decided to expand our production base to the Kingdom because the country enjoys preferential tariffs for exports made from local rice.
“Likewise, Ms Mom, our partner, has shown great passion for the industry,” he said.
Cham Prasidh, the Minister of Industry and Handicrafts, said the new firm will boost the country’s exports and urged the company to begin using other agricultural products other than rice.
The minister expressed his desire to see more Japanese firms partnering with local companies, which, he said, will help Cambodia climb up the global value chain.
“Most Japanese companies come to invest here because our country has a good investment policy. Our market is 100 percent open to foreign investors. They don’t even need to partner with local firms. However, we would like to see more joint ventures like LyLy Kameda,” he said.