Cambodia Sin Chew Daily, March 1, 2011
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) held a two-day Press Tour Program on the 24th and 25th of last month, inviting more than 20 representatives from National Television of Cambodia, radio stations and many newspapers and magazines to introduce the operation situation of Japan's official development assistance (ODA) and JICA in Cambodia. The press delegation separately visited the Embassy of Japan in Cambodia, AJINOMOTO Packaging Factory in Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, the Project of Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority under the assistance of Japan, Kampong Cham Provincial Teacher Training Center, Kampong Cham Hospital and the Project for Rural Drinking Water Supply in Memut district of Kampong Cham province under the assistance of Japan.
(The photo of the press delegation and doctors took during the visit of delegation to Kampong Cham Provincial Hospital built under the assistance from Japan)
Japan is optimistic about Cambodia, and will expand the investment
(Phnom Penh Report): In the next few years, many Japanese companies will expand investment in Cambodia, or even replace, and surpass China to become our country's biggest investor.
Presently, Japan is also Cambodia' biggest donor, providing non-reimbursable aid of about one hundred million US dollar every year. Mr. IMAMURA YUJI, JICA Expert of the Project for Investment Environment Promotion in Cambodia, mentioned that last year representatives of more than 30 Japanese large companies came to our county to study and understand the investment situation, and they all agreed that Cambodia is a large cake, but still no one eats. They believed these large Japanese companies will come to launch the large-scaled investment projects in Cambodia in a few years to come. He said currently the top foreign investment shows China standing in the first place, then South Korea and Malaysia, but Japan stands in the 12th place. If large Japanese companies carry out its investment in the future, Japan may even replace China to become our country's biggest investor. He revealed that presently there are 34 Japanese companies investing in Cambodia; the total investment is about 240,000,000 US dollars. Just in the first two months of this year, there are already several Japanese companies operating its investments in Cambodia and just in the second month of this year, Japanese investment in Cambodia already reaches 100,000,000 US dollars. The trend of investment may even be in "steady progress". He stated that Cambodia implemented the policy of opening free market economy and highly liberalized economy, and at the same time being one of the most undeveloped countries, Cambodia enjoys many preferential conditions from the developed countries, especially Cambodia has huge labor force, and with stable policy. These two points are the main factors which attract Japanese companies to invest in this country.
He said Cambodia is estimated to have approximately 5 millions of 18-35 years old labor forces and presently only 300,000 labor forces are being employed in garment sector; still 4 millions of labor forces are in agriculture sector or unemployed. In addition, its labor cost is cheaper than other ASEAN countries which makes Japanese companies become more confident in investing in Cambodia.
IMAMURA YUJI introduced Japanese investment in Cambodia to the media during the local media representatives' visit at the Embassy of Japan in Cambodia last week.
He stated that in order to attract foreign investment, the government conducted the plan to develop special economic zones 10 years earlier, but due to the limited policy and fund conditions, it has not been carried out so far, and the policy related to special economic zones have not been regulated, making the establishment of economic zones lag far behind. The government's main idea of developing special economic zones was to concentrate on the private investment, not the government investment. The private companies are responsible for building the park's infrastructures, operating and attracting foreign business, and bringing the constructions of the zones to the marketing and privatized model.
He pointed out that based on the regulations, special economic zones may enjoy duty-free treatment, and it may set up "one widow service" to help investors handle import & export permit documents, etc, in order to provide convenience to the business operation. In the special economic zones, from the beginning of business operation, the companies may enjoy 9-year free income tax, free material import and export value-added tax incentives and may have the ownership to land and real estate. Meanwhile, he also introduced the unfavorable factors of the investment, including the imperfectness of our country's current legal system, the lack of effective protection of the rights of investors, the serious corruption phenomenon in the government institutions and the other ineffective factors, etc. He emphasized that presently JICA was closely cooperating with Council for the Development of Cambodia by laying stress on promoting the friendship and cooperation between Cambodia and Japan, providing the accurate information and attracting more Japanese investors to invest in Cambodia in order to push the agriculture products to the market.
Cambodian-Japanese Joint Venture Project
Mr. HIROSHI UEMATSU, Managing Director of Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, mentioned that the total investment of Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone is 20,000,000 US dollars. Up to now, there are totally 26 companies from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, etc., registered to enter the special economic zone. The involving sectors included garment manufacturing factories, shoes manufacturing factories, motorcycle equipping industry, etc. He mentioned that nowadays the electric supply system, water supply system, and the roads in the park have basically been completed; it can meet the investors' demand.
It has been known that Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone is the joint venture between Cambodia and Japan. Among them, Cambodia holds 78% of capital, and the remaining 28% of capital belongs to Japan. This special zone is presently one of Japanese largest projects in Cambodia.
Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone is located near National Road 4. It is 18 kilometers from Phnom Penh City Center, 8 kilometers far from Phnom Penh Airport and 208 kilometers far from Sihanouk Ville. The whole park occupies an area of 36 hectares.
(Photo: Kampong Cham's Memot district water wells project supported by Japan)
After the establishment of packaging factory during the end of last year, the sale of AJINOMOTO products in Cambodia has been increased. The monthly sale of monosodium glutamate reaches 1,000 tons.
Last year, AJINOMOTO spent US$ 6,000,000 to build the packaging factory in Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone to become the seventh production base in ASEAN.
Mr. Ichiro NISHIMURA, President of AJINOMOTO Factory, introduced to the media that after the establishment of packaging factory, production has been increased several times, and at the same time the monthly sale has been increased up to 1,000 tons.
He mentioned that AJINOMOTO was established in Japan in 1909. During the past 100 years, it has been supplying the high-quality food seasoning to the food enterprises around the world. Nowadays it has become the "big brother" in Cambodian monosodium glutamate market.
(Photo: Mr. ICHIRO NISHIMURA, President of AJINOMOTO, introduced the sales and production situation to the media)