More Japanese firms keen to invest

Eight new companies that are members of the Japanese Business Association of Cambodia (JBAC) have entered into the Cambodian investment scene in the first half of this year, the association boss reported, as ACLEDA Bank Plc works to bring in more players from the East Asian country.

Speaking to local media on August 26, JBAC president Yogo Kanda said that at its next biannual conference next month, the association will reveal a list of new Japanese companies with plans to invest in Cambodia.

The interview followed a meeting between JBAC, ACLEDA and about 50 Cambodian-based Japanese companies.

Kanda said JBAC will also organise a key meeting next year with “well-known Cambodian businesspeople” to identify and explore business opportunities in sectors deemed to be particularly promising.

He also broke down the “more than 250” Japanese JBAC member firms investing in Cambodia by sector: 25 per cent in manufacturing, 25 per cent in commerce and services, and 50 per cent in banking, insurance and other areas. Kanda noted that not all Japanese entities investing in the Kingdom are JBAC members.

ACLEDA president and group managing director In Channy affirmed that he informed the Japanese businesspeople at the meeting of Cambodia’s improving road infrastructure, new airport developments, and potential in key areas, seeking to pave the way for new investors to step in.

He said ACLEDA’s clientele includes “more than 600” Japanese companies, “most of which are large corporations” such as Minebea and Aeon Mall.

“Our goal is to share our experiences related to the banking and finance business and some data obtained from the CDC [Council for the Development of Cambodia], the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the World Bank to estimate Cambodia’s economic growth in the following years until 2027,” he said, predicting that the Cambodian economy would remain strong in the six years till then.

Channy pointed out that although Japanese investors have raised concerns over inflation, the elevated figures this year are still lower than those seen in 2008, and kept under control by the “adequate measures” taken by the government.

An ACLEDA report citing the CDC notes that foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Cambodia have increased significantly, buoyed by political stability, open investment markets, good macroeconomic policies, and regional economic growth.

The report highlighted construction and real estate, garments and manufacturing, and agriculture as top choices among recent investors.

Between the promulgation of a previous investment law on August 5, 1994 and December 31, 2021, Cambodia has logged total registered investment of about $41.02 billion.

The financial sector accounted for the lion’s share at 22.9 per cent, followed by

manufacturing (20.8 per cent), construction and real estate (16.1 per cent), hotels and restaurants (10.7 per cent), agriculture (10.3 per cent), electricity (6.1 per cent), and other sectors (13 per cent).

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