Joint Survey With Tokyo Eyes Investing

The Tokyo Chamber of Com­merce and Industry and the Phnom Penh Chamber of Com­merce will survey the investment potential and climate in Cambodia next week, government officials and investors said Sunday.

The plan for the survey came from a meeting last week be­tween TooMoo Tahara, adviser to the Tokyo chamber, and top government officials, including Prime Minister Hun Sen, co-Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara.

The Japanese team, which is currently in Burma discussing a similar plan with officials there, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Phnom Penh chamber to ex­change information on small- and medium-scale business opportunities, said Sorn Sokha, vice president of the Phnom Penh cham­ber.

“We are lacking the industry sector right now, and we want [the Japanese] to set up factories here,” Sorn Sokha said. “We don’t even have a sugar factory.”

The survey should take three to six months to complete, he said.

A Japanese business leader confirmed that the Tokyo chamber will conduct the survey but said the Japanese business team has no further plans in Cambodia yet.

“This is just a mission without a specific plan yet,” said Michio Nishi­hara, chairman of the Japa­nese Business Association and general manager of the Phnom Penh branch of Mitsubishi Corp. He added that the Japanese team is willing to study business opportunities in Cambodia.

While smuggling remains a worry for all investors, Cambodia’s possible membership into the World Trade Organization could bring more investment from Japan to Cambodia if laws and taxation improve, said a member of the Japanese Business Association identified only as Matsushita.

Chea Sophara said that Cam­bo­dia is now poised for more investment, especially in the small- to medium-scale agricultural processing industry.

“I will support this project and suggest improving the export of cashews, bananas and rice,” he said.



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