Cambodian students, graduates and jobseekers filled the main hall of the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center on Tuesday looking for employment opportunities with some of Japan’s largest corporations.
Organizers said the event aimed to bridge the gap between skilled Cambodian job seekers and companies from the world’s third largest economy, which in recent years has shown newfound interest in the Cambodian market.
Among those present at the fair were the retail giant Aeon, which is building a mall off Sothearos Boulevard, car manufacturer Toyota, motorcycle firm Yamaha and the automotive parts supplier Yazaki.
Momo Uchino, a manager for Nojima Corporation, a home appliances and electronics retailer that hopes to set up a store in Phnom Penh, said that events like this one are crucial when surveying the labor market in Cambodia.
“We don’t yet have a Cambodia-based company, so it is difficult to find Cambodian workers from Japan,” she said. “This is a good chance to make contact with Cambodians.”
The Japanese firms that have come to Cambodia so far, such as Minebea, which makes motorized engines, have complained about a lack of skilled laborers in Cambodia.
Still, Toshio Ban, chief adviser at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center, which helped organize the employment fair, said Japanese firms were more appealing to Cambodian workers than firms from other countries as they often invest in training their workforce.
Japanese companies “are more likely not just to take cheap labor, but to train them and learn together. It is that kind of concept that they have,” he said.
Japanese investment in Cambodia last year amounted to $75 million and is expected to reach $300 million this year thanks to the $205 million Aeon Mall development in Phnom Penh.