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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        19 January 2011

Panasonic opens Cambodian office

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Panasonic launched its first representative office in Cambodia on Saturday, identifying it as a market with "high potential".

Ikuo Miyamoto, managing executive officer of Panasonic Corporation, highlighted the Kingdom's "young and dynamic" workforce and praised the government's encouragement of foreign investment during a meeting at Phnom Penh's Intercontinental Hotel.

"I strongly feel the great potential of significant growth that Cambodia will perform in the near future," he said, according to a transcript of the speech.

"The Cambodian market has high potential. It is located in a very important geographical location between Thailand and Vietnam ... That is why Panasonic has decided to open a representative office here ahead of its competitors," he said.

"Today is the new first step for Panasonic in Cambodia. We will strive to maximize our efforts to carry out locally-oriented management, " he added.

The company claims to have a 68 percent market share of air conditioner unit sales in Cambodia last year.

Panasonic also aims to introduce new products and provide "after care services" for its Cambodian customers in the near future.

Keo San, director of San International Co Ltd, which has imported and distributed Panasonic air conditioning units since the early 1990s said that sales had grown since its launch.

"At the beginning, sometimes we could not sell even one a month, but now, our sales are better," he said, refusing the give specific or assumed figures because of competition concerns.

Hidehiko Kondo, who is a representative from Panasonic's new Cambodia office, emphasized growth.

He said that even though there had been some success in selling to Cambodia, the market was still small due to limited numbers of households with access to electricity.

Panasonic aims to mainly target customers in Phnom Penh, he said.

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