Japan Focused On Developing Mekong Supply Chain

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Japanese firms are building factories and industrial parks in Cambodia to feed the increasingly complex supply chains of goods manufactured for consumer markets in Asia and the West—and eventually Cambodia itself, tightening economic links between both countries and boosting connectivity.

Bilateral trade between Japan and Cambodia has increased eightfold over the last decade. According to official data, Cambodia imported $366 million worth of goods from Japan in 2015, while it exported nearly $1.2 billion—mostly garments, footwear and electrical components.

“Japanese companies, particularly in manufacturing, have paid more and more attention to Cambodia in recent years,” said Ai Onish, an official at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ First Southeast Asia Division.

“In the past five years, the number of Japanese companies in Cambodia increased by a factor of 3.4,” he said, noting that in 2010 there were just 50 registered Japanese firms in Cambodia, whereas today there are 171.

The increase in industrial activity is driving a push for better connectivity. Earlier this month, All Nippon Airlines (ANA) launched the first direct flight connecting Tokyo and Phnom Penh.

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