Representatives from 17 Japanese companies attended a business matching event this week to explore investment opportunities here and meet potential local partners.
The event, organised by Acleda Bank Plc and the Japan-Cambodia Association (JCA), was attended by 43 companies from Japan and Cambodia.
In Channy, Acleda Bank president and group managing director, said this was the first time such a meeting was organised by the private sector, noting that a total of 17 Japanese companies were represented at the event, including firms in the construction, consulting, business travel management, information technology, food and beverage, cosmetics, processing, health, and agriculture sectors.
“There are Japanese companies well-known globally, some of which are already investing in Cambodia. Some others are here to explore opportunities and learn more about the local market,” he told reporters after the event.
“This is important because having more people invest in our country will benefit the national economy, creating more sources of growth for the country,” he said,
Mr Channy said these investors will create jobs and help the government increase tax revenue.
Leading the Japanese delegation, JCA president Takahashi Fumiaki said the association is working to bring Japanese companies here so that they can invest.
Mr Takahashi said he hoped the business matching event will help Japanese firms attain a better understanding of the economic situation in the Kingdom, noting that, in the last seven years, the local economy has grown at an average of 7 percent.
“I cannot say if many of the Japanese firms present here will enter agreements with local companies. But I hope that they gain a better understanding of Cambodia’s economy and business environment,” he explained.
“I am sure they can find one or two areas in which they can invest,” said Mr Takahashi, who served as Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia from 2003 to 2007.
When asked what sectors are most attractive for Japanese investors, Mr Takahashi responded that they are mostly looking at agriculture.
Acleda’s Mr Channy noted that the event was part of efforts from the private sector to attract more investors to the country and that it follows Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Japan in May in which he called on Japanese firms to consider the Kingdom as an investment destination.
“We know that Japanese investors are trustworthy and their products have high-quality,” Mr Channy said.
Addressing hundreds of Japanese and international business representatives and potential investors in Tokyo in May, Mr Hun Sen praised the quality of Japanese investment and its positive impact on the Cambodian economy and society and called for more investment from the country.
“Japanese businesses and investment in Cambodia are renowned for their quality. They add value to local goods, generate jobs and help improve the living standards of Cambodian workers, which is in line with the vision and mission of the Royal Government of Cambodia.”
To further the country’s industrial development, Mr Hun Sen said Cambodia needs more Japanese investments on food processing, eco-tourism, manufacturing, and human resources.
According to the Council for the Development of Cambodia, as of September, there were 141 investment projects from Japan, with a combined capital of $2.5 billion. 66 of these projects were located inside special economic zones, collectively valued at $340 million.