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Hopes to boost textile exports to Japan with added value

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Garment workers at a factory in Phnom Penh. KT/Ven Rathavong

Cambodia, as well as Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, are being encouraged to improve their production chains to provide added value to their textile products exported to Japan.

The call came at a Phnom Penh workshop for representatives from Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) on export potential from the four countries to Japan and the global value chain in the textile and clothing industry.

Among key speakers, Bando Shunsuke, director of research and policy analysis at the Asean-Japan Centre, said Cambodia is geographically located in the centre of Asean and provides favourable conditions for businesses with rapid infrastructure development and fast-rising economic growth, investment, trade and tourism.

The workshop explained the benefits of a valued-added chain in the textile industry to CLMV countries regarding exports, he said.

“Participants were expected to understand issues and opportunities facing the textile industry sector to increase exports to Japan annually,” Bando said.

Figures from Ministry of Commerce showed that the potential products for export from Cambodia to Japan are clothes, footwear and electronics.

Bun Chanthy, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said that he applauded the move and added the government is upgrading the production chain to follow global trends.

“The government is implementing its strategic plan to strengthen and promote economic growth through competitiveness in the global market in the  context of the industry revolution 4.0,” Bun said.

Currently, there are 137 Japanese investment projects in Cambodia valued cumulatively at $2.5 billion, mainly involved in the manufacturing of electronic and electricity components, auto spare parts, agro-industry products and food processing materials, hotels, tourism, hospitals and malls, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

In 2018, Cambodian exports to Japan soared 27.3 percent while imports grew by 17.8 percent, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation.

That year, more than $1.6 billion worth of Cambodian goods were sent to Japan, while the Kingdom purchased about $421 million in Japanese goods.

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