On 2-3 December 2013, in cooperation with ASEAN-Japan Center, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) successfully held seminars to promote Japanese investments to Cambodia. The seminars started at 13:30 (Japan time) and ended at 16:20 at Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel in Nagoya city and Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tokyo, Japan. The seminars were chaired by H.E Mr. SOK Chenda Sophea, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of CDC. Eighty people attended the seminar in Nagoya, while one held in Tokyo attracted three hundred participants from medium-size and global companies.
Three key presenters contributed to this seminar in bringing the real situation of Cambodia to participants, many of whom have never visited the country. H.E Mr. SOK Chenda Sophea presented about “investment opportunities in Cambodia,” while Mr.Jun Iijima, team leader of oversea industrial park department of Sumitomo Corp. presented about the “trend of Japanese companies investing in Cambodia,” followed by Mr. Masao Suematsu, Executive vice President and Chief Operation Officer of Denso International Asia Co., Ltd and Mr. Masaaki Michishita, ECO of Haru Urarakana Co.,Ltd who shared about their companies’ experience in doing business in Cambodia.
The Minister explained to the Japanese business people that there are a number of reasons for Japanese companies to consider investing in Cambodia in comparison to its neighbors. He pointed out that Cambodia’s open economy, sound macroeconomic environment, competitive investment incentives, one-stop window and service, low labor costs, strategic location of Cambodia, preferential trading status that Cambodia gets from other countries and its access to ASEAN and the world’s markets made Cambodia the most appropriate country for Japanese investments.
The Minister also put emphases on three main advantages that Japanese investors can take into account and invest in Cambodia. These advantages include: (1) investments incentives provided under Cambodian investment law and regulations, (2) assurance of equal treatment on national and foreign investments, and (3) preferential access of Cambodian-made products to the global markets as well as to the regional markets, ASEAN.
Under the investment law of Cambodia, all investors, without any distinction between national and foreign ones, are equally treated and protected. The law requires no local equity participation; thus, foreign investors can put up to 100% of their capital in an investment project. The law guarantees the non-control on the pricing of the products and services made and provided by any company, as well as the assurance that there is no restriction on forex convertibility and the free remittance of foreign currencies abroad.
In addition to the guaranty provided by Cambodian investment law as listed above, the investors may also enjoy up to 9 years of tax holidays and full import duty exemption provided by the government of Cambodia.
Mr. Masao Suematsu shared to his fellow Japanese that Denso has made the right decision to start the production in Cambodia, as the Cambodian labor wages are relatively low compared to those of her neighboring countries, while Cambodian workers are teachable and quick learners. “I am amazed that after three-month training our workers can produce almost the same quality of products that workers in the neighboring Thailand where our factories have located for 40 years can,” said Mr. Suematsu.
It was remarkable that Japanese investments in Cambodia hit the record of 271 million in 2012 and 61.5 million USD in first ten months of 2013, most of which locate in special economic zones. While more investors are interested in visiting Cambodia to seek for the investment opportunities, some mega Japanese companies such as AEON Co., Ltd and Sumi (Cambodia) Wiring System Co., Ltd have already located their businesses in Cambodia, and lately Casio’s subsidiary, Nissey, and Denso. The recent boom of Japanese investments in Cambodia proves that the decade-long concerted effort of the Royal Government of Cambodia, led by Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, with their Japanese counterpart have now borne fruits.
Data of Japanese Investments in Cambodia as of October 2013