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Japanese companies playing catch-up in Cambodia
Zone(s): Japan, Cambodia ¦ Sector(s): Trade
[28 June 2014, Nikkei Asian Review] Yuichi Shiga, Nikkei staff writer, Tokyo: Visitors to Cambodia are often struck by how time seems to move slowly. A blue sky and the breeze from a three-wheeled tuk-tuk taxi offer an exotic twist on the daily commute. But amid the “lost world” charm, change is afoot in Cambodia – especially in Phnom Penh, the capital, calling for a rethink of Japan’s economic ties with the landlocked Southeast Asian country.
Japan’s investment in Cambodia has long focused on aid. Tokyo has financed the construction of bridges and other infrastructure with official development assistance. At the grass-roots level, there are many volunteer efforts, with Japanese college students providing much of the muscle. But while these activities remain important, “Cambodia is moving into a different stage of development, which should be supported not through aid but through partnerships between companies,” according to one Japanese company official in the country.