On 26 February 2014, a Japanese delegation from Osaka city, Japan, paid a courtesy call with H.E SOK Chenda Sophea, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia. The delegation comprised of representative from various Japanese SMEs including ASEAN Technology, Ueda Heavy Gear Work Ltd. Sanko Kiko Co., Ltd, Sanyo Densen, Takara Sangyo, Nice Corporation, Nippon Fusso Co.,Ltd and SBIC West Japan.
The head of the delegation informed the Secretary General that the purpose of the visit is to understand the real situation of Cambodia and assess opportunities for investments in the country, as many Japanese companies are now considering their China/Thailand plus one strategy to diversify their production bases. He expressed that the visit had changed the mindset of the delegation; prior to the visit, the delegation heard a lot through media about the labor shortage, insufficient electricity supply and high logistic costs. However, after meeting with Japanese investors doing business in Cambodia and other Cambodia’s government agencies, the delegation understood the real situation and could now foresee many opportunities of investments in Cambodia.The delegation also realized that Cambodia is a dynamic country with a young population that eager for consumption and entertainment.
H.E SOK Chenda Sophea extended his heartfelt thanks to the delegation for the time and money spent for visiting Cambodia. He underscored to the delegation that there are three key points the delegation should take good note in addition to what have been written in the investment guidebook. Cambodia has open investment regime: 1) whereby foreign investors, including Japanese ones, can invest in all sectors and without any local participation requirement; 2) national treatment: Cambodia and foreign investors enjoy the same rights; 3) free repatriation of earnings and profits.
H.E SOK Chenda Sophea invites the delegation members to consider investing the following sectors: agriculture, agro-processing, food processing, tourism and tourism-related activities. In addition, obviously, thanks to its abundant labor force, Cambodia is also a destination for labor intensive activities. Finally, H.E SOK Chenda Sophea emphasizes that Japanese investors should not think that Cambodia’s market is about 15 million consumers, but rather a market of 600 million consumers, for example, the ASEAN market. Moreover, Cambodia is enjoying the EBA treatment from the EU; exports to the EU are quota-free and duty free.