The Ministry of Commerce is seeking Japan’s help to improve products manufactured by small and medium enterprises in the Kingdom and bring them up to Japanese standards of quality.

Cambodian Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak yesterday met with Miyao Masahiro, president of the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), and requested that they strengthen their cooperation with Cambodia to up the quality of locally made products that could be used to feed local demand or be exported to Japan.

“Cambodia needs Japanese investors to cooperate with local SMEs to develop high quality products with Japanese standards that can be sold at Aeon mall and also abroad,” the minister said.

Mr Sorasak added that his ministry continues to work to facilitate the operations of Japanese investors in the country.

In response to the minister’s request, Mr Masahiro pledged to promote business opportunities in Cambodia back home and to urge Japanese companies to invest in Cambodian SMEs.

Cambodian exports to Japan soared during the first three months of 2018, reaching $390 million, a 15 percent hike compared to last year. Imports from Japan declined by 1.7 percent to $87.3 million, widening the trade deficit with Japan, according to figures from Jetro.

With over 130 registered projects in banking, manufacturing, agriculture, service and infrastructure, among other sectors, Japanese investment in the kingdom was valued at $1.6 billion in 2017, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia.