The Kingdom’s apex trade body is forging ahead to open its second representative office abroad, in Japan this year to build on growing investment inflows from the East Asian economic powerhouse, according to its second-in-command.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng told The Post that, after opening its first-ever overseas outpost late last month, the trade body would set up a working group tasked with spearheading the opening of the planned Japanese office and selecting a president.

Japan was chosen as the location for the office due to its market potential for Cambodia and “good” relations with the Kingdom, he said, confirming that the Cambodian government “has already decided to establish an office in Sendai, a large industrial area”.

“We will expand further in countries that have good relations with us, especially countries with advanced economies like Japan,” Heng added.

The Ministry of Commerce had held a meeting on the Toronto office on March 3, where it was revealed that a feasibility study for a second Canadian office in Montreal was in the works.

Commerce ministry spokesman Penn Sovicheat said such overseas offices would spur foreign investment, better acquaint international players with Cambodian products with export potential, strengthen existing markets as well as encourage the development of new ones, and provide information concerning the Kingdom’s business, trade and investment environments.

The world will get to know the Kingdom better through trade and exhibitions of Cambodian products arranged by CCC and its representative offices, he noted.

He underscored that Canada and Japan were just as important as hosts for representative offices of trade bodies as China, where he noted Cambodia has opened a number of business centres.

While unable to provide a timeframe for the opening of the Sendai office, Sovicheat stressed that “we are preparing the right time”, and that the inauguration would make conducting market studies on prospective sites for future offices easier.

For reference, trade between Cambodia and Japan topped $635 million in the first four months of this year, up by 11.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE).

Cambodia’s exports to Japan exceeded $389 million, up 7.4 per cent year-on-year, while imports passed $246 million, rising by 18.3 per cent. The Kingdom’s trade surplus with Japan for January-April narrowed by roughly a fourteenth year-on-year to over $0.14 billion.

Similarly, January-April trade between Cambodia and Canada was worth more than $347 million, up 21.3 per cent on a yearly basis, of which Cambodian exports topped $340 million (up 22.9 per cent) and imports passed $7 million (down 26 per cent), according to the GDCE. The Kingdom’s trade surplus with Canada expanded by nearly a quarter on-year.