Experts Gather at CTX 2022 to Drive Cambodia’s Electronics and Automotive Sectors

International experts came together at the inaugural Cambodia Tech Expo 2022 to discuss how to improve Cambodia’s electronics and automotive sectors to drive forward the economy
Senior government officials at Cambodia Tech Expo 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Senior government officials at Cambodia Tech Expo 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa

National and international experts have gathered at Cambodia Tech Expo (CTX) 2022, a three-day event of panel discussions and to exchange ideas to improve the nation’s tech, startup and investment sectors.

Held from November 11 to 13 at Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Center, simultaneous with the 2022 ASEAN Summits, the event covered a range of topics. In particular, Cambodia’s electronics and automotive sectors, which have seen growth in several special economic zones.

To attract more international investors, a new investment law defines incentives and procedures for a better investment environment, alongside the development of electronic and automotive roadmaps. From the investor aspect, factors such as political stability, safety, dispute settlement, connectivity, talents and taxation play a role in impacting the profitability of long-term investments.

People attend Cambodia Tech Expo (CTX) 2022 at Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Center. Kiripost/Siv Channa
People attend Cambodia Tech Expo (CTX) 2022 at Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Center. Kiripost/Siv Channa

On Saturday, a panel discussion on ‘Electronics and Automotive’ shed light from diverse perspectives on the current investment environment in the electronics and automotive sectors and the needed next steps for Cambodia to become a compelling business location.

We assemble them in our country

Kensuke Watanabe, HRA Manager of MinibeaMitsumi, said the company has limited products but plans to increase the amount of products. According to the diversified business portfolio, he noted the company has achieved record-high sales in the fiscal year ended March of $10,077 million. The company has a strategic partnership with QCDESS to solve environmental issues.

MinebeaMitsumi considers carbon neutrality as an inevitable mission to humankind. QCDS (Quality, Cost, Delivery, Service) but also adds E (Eco / Efficiency) and S (Speed) as a new product strategy "QCDESS" to solidify the foundation for the 100th anniversary.

Focusing on "E" in particular will not only reduce the company’s emissions, but also provide customers with energy-saving and environmentally-friendly solutions to support the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to MinebeaMitsumi’s website.

“For the smart youth, it’s a part of saving energy and increasing green energy as well. So, we make the final product as a manufacturer in Cambodia and export it, as well as distribute it locally also,” said Watanabe.

Established in 2010 in Cambodia, the components manufacturer integrates a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, from ultra-precision machining technologies, such as miniature and small ball bearings, to motors, sensors, semiconductors, wireless technologies. It creates new value through difference and contributes to the age of IoT (Internet of Things) as an Electro Mechanics Solutions provider.

The company is expanding its capabilities from assembly manufacturing to a self-producer of in-house parts. It plans to gather these products in Cambodia.

“In the future, we will import more products in order to produce in Cambodia. We are only assembly manufacturing. But now we are not only becoming assembly manufacturing, we’re also going to produce in-house parts by ourselves. This means that we produce in-house parts and then we assemble them in our country. So, this is a very good opportunity to develop and also one of the improvements of the electronics sector in our Cambodia,” he added.

Small-scale industrial complex

KIM Woo Sung, Chief Executive Officer, NH RECYTECH Co., Ltd and Former Executive Director of Samsung Electro-Mechanics, provided some advice based on his experience in related fields to Cambodia to improve the automotive and electronics industries.

He mentioned that the manufacturing industry, especially the electronics industry, is an important factor for national development. And there are many factors that Cambodia must nurture in these two related industries.

A stable political system, climate and environment were key factors raised during the discussion for further development.

“Also, to create a creative industry that increases the growth of the industry. After establishing the industry to manpower the operatives and relate to the social life for infrastructure, there must be specialized training for the neutering technical manpower establishment of a stable logistic system and the sourcing of stable power,” Sung said.

He suggested building the following roadmap. First, it is necessary to establish and operate an electric product assembly plan with a low-level process. “It would be great if we could adopt and operate a high tech processing from the beginning,” he said.

Buddhist monks attend Cambodia Tech Expo (CTX) 2022 at Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Center. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Buddhist monks attend Cambodia Tech Expo (CTX) 2022 at Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Center. Kiripost/Siv Channa

He mentioned that it is vital to create a successful story adapting and operating the lower-level process.

“In addition, the most time-consuming human infrastructure construction is to bring in advanced technology personnel who are retired at the same time as the factory city location. The advanced skill levels of retired people relate fully to the peace pastor on local walks as the factory launches and, based on this, you can create a successful story.”

He said that in order to make the tech industry successful there should be more international investments in Cambodia, as well as working on solving environmental issues.

“Today, I said that we need to create a small-scale industrial complex and start neutering the manufacturing industries through factories, locations from overseas, and create a successful story through this to transform high technical personnel who have operated the factories together,” he added.

The Cambodian government identifies the automotive and electronics sectors as potential priority industries for promoting Cambodia's participation in the global value chain, Sung said.

Aun Pornmoniroth, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance and Chairman of the Economic and Financial Policy Committee, chaired a meeting on the preparation of a roadmap for the development and attraction of automotive and electronic investment.

Two documents have been prepared outlining the government's long-term vision, in particular the initiatives for the development of the automotive and electronics sectors.

Roadmap

The first is the “Roadmap for the Development and Attraction of Automotive Investment”, aiming to develop and link the Cambodian automotive sector to regional and global value chains. In particular, to transform Cambodia into an automotive component production hub as well as promote the production of more complex and value-added automotive components.

The second is the "Roadmap for the Development and Attraction of Investment in the Electronics Sector" aimed at transforming Cambodia into a highly-integrated electronics manufacturing center that manufactures a wide range of electronic components, semi-finished components and finished products to serve the regional and global export markets. This is according to a publication from the Ministry of Information in April.

Keo Reasmey, CEO of UDAYA Technology, at Cambodia Tech Expo 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Keo Reasmey, CEO of UDAYA Technology, at Cambodia Tech Expo 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Human resources is a kind of infrastructure

Hideaki Ohgaki, a professor from Kyoto University in Japan, is currently working on the Japan-Asean Science Technology Innovation platform (JASTIP) that attempts to connect industrialists and academia to the government. He believes it is necessary to improve the basic knowledge of the technology of students from foundations to high-level before moving into tech-related industries.

In 2015, Kyoto University launched the “Japan- ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Platform (JASTIP): Promotion of Sustainable Development Research” within the framework of the Collaboration Hubs for International Research Program (CHIRP) 2015, funded by the Strategic International Collaborative Research Program (SICORP) of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

JASTIP’s objective is to conduct and produce innovative research and promote research cooperation between Japan and ASEAN countries. JASTIP not only serves as networking for the research community, it will be a platform to connect research results and feed them back into society.

“Innovation is just simply to improve. It is not essential for Cambodia. Maybe it is much more prone to the basic level to bottom up and then higher level than you can promote your own industry. Human resources is a kind of infrastructure,” he said.