Cambodia, Japan to foster SME ties for niche markets

PHNOM PENH: H.E. HEM Vanndy, Science, Technology & Innovation, on April 6, 2024 received a Japanese business delegation led by Mr. Takahashi Fumiaki, President of the Japan-Cambodia Association () to discuss potential collaboration between the SME communities of the two countries.

Mr. Takahashi reiterated the commitment of JCA to elevate the business relationship between Japan and Cambodia to the next level. With the recent inauguration of JCA office in Cambodia, he emphasized the potential for facilitating direct communication and collaboration between Japanese and Cambodian businesses, thereby streamlining processes rather than just relying on diplomatic channels.

JCA just opened its office in Cambodia on April 1, 2024, a move that is expected to catalyze further engagement between Japanese SMEs and their Cambodian counterparts, fostering mutual growth and exploration of niche markets in ASEAN and beyond.

Underscoring the importance of ground presence, Minister Vanndy said that Cambodia will leverage the JCA office to gain insights into Japanese innovations and explore avenues for collaboration beyond domestic markets. He emphasized new potentials within Cambodia's SME ecosystem and the ministry's commitment to enhancing its public services, particularly the national quality infrastructure to support industries.

Identifying key sectors for potential collaboration, including agro-processing, green technology, and electronics, he highlighted Cambodia's interest in attracting Japanese investment, particularly in areas that add value to local produce and enhance productivity.

Mr. Kazunori KATO, Executive Director & Secretary General of JCA, outlined two initial strategies of the new office, focusing on co-producing products with Cambodian SMEs and initiatives to provide technical and vocational training to bolster Cambodian workforce. He shared his positive impressions from a recent business delegation visit to Cambodia.

In addition to collaborating with Cambodian businesses, associations, federations and chambers of commerce, Minister Vanndy also proposed that JCA work with Khmer Enterprise, a government trust dedicated to supporting Cambodian startups and SMEs. He said this partnership will capitalize on Khmer Enterprise's expertise in providing technical training and funding support to foster synergies between Japanese SMEs and Cambodian enterprises.

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