Cambodia Investment Seminar held welcoming Prime Minister Hun Sen
On May 29, JETRO jointly held the Cambodia Investment Seminar with the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and Mizuho Bank, taking the opportunity of Prime Minister Hun Sen's visit to Japan. This was the third seminar hosted by JETRO while welcoming the Cambodian Prime Minister following the previous Cambodia Investment Seminar in August 2017 and a forum held in tandem with the Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting last year. It was joined by approximately 350 people, primarily from business circles, indicating great interest in Cambodia among Japanese companies.
In his keynote speech, Prime Minister Hun Sen touched on the history of the cordial relationship between Cambodia and Japan, Cambodia's high economic growth and trends in investment by Japanese companies. He also gave another overview of the deregulation and improvement of the business environment he had announced at the Government-Private Sector Forum held on March 29. His explanation included the following: the elimination of "Camcontrol," the Cambodia Import-Export Inspection and Fraud Repression Directorate General under the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia; reduction of fees such as for scanning containers; cuts in electric rates and measures for a stable supply of energy; reduction of the world's largest number of public holidays by seven days; and amendment of investment legislation. With that, he showed his strong commitment toward Japanese companies by saying, "The Cambodian government will undertake the maintenance of a business environment expected by all investors, which includes political and economic stability, development of legal systems, efficiency of administrative work, securement of transparency and predictability, and accountability."
Following that, the prime minister took part in a panel discussion, where he announced the abolition of the prepaid corporate tax which has caused difficulty for Japanese-affiliated companies in Cambodia for many years. He had promised this at the request of JETRO Chairman Nobuhiko Sasaki during a dialogue ahead of this meeting.
During the seminar, Prime Minister Hun Sen declared, "Last year, I decided on the elimination of Camcontrol at the request of the Chairman of JETRO. Today, I also decided on the abolition of the prepaid corporate tax at the current chairman’s request. I promise all investors that it will be implemented within this year." With that, this occasion joined that of the elimination of Camcontrol as an example of systematic reform resulting from a proposal by JETRO.
After the seminar, a signing ceremony for a memorandum of cooperation on investment promotion between the CDC and JETRO was held. The two organizations agreed upon the following through the MOU:
- Improving the investment environment in order to promote investment into Cambodia by Japanese companies
- Implementing various activities including research, dispatch of missions, business matching and holding seminars, with the aim of facilitating investment
- Responding to issues related to investment into Cambodia that Japanese companies are facing
With this seminar and the MOC with the CDC, JETRO will devote efforts to further strengthen business exchange between the two countries and promote more investment into Cambodia.