Japan opens first mall in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH - A giant Japanese shopping mall officially opened Monday in Phnom Penh in the presence of Cambodia's leader and Japan's foreign minister.

At the inauguration of Aeon Mall Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Hun Sen noted it is the first modern mall of international standard to be built in Cambodia.

"The investment by Aeon Group is a key message highlighting the economic potentials of Cambodia reflected through noticeable enhancement of living standard of Cambodians, especially the growing number of middle-class families as well as predictable investment environment in the eyes of foreign investors, especially Japanese investors wishing to invest in Cambodia," Hun Sen said.

He said the mall "will showcase the progress, prosperity and peace of Cambodia, and it is definitely an indicator for other Japanese companies to come to Cambodia."

The mall houses 107 tenants of international brands, 43 tenants of popular local brands and 49 tenants of Japanese brands.

At the inauguration, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who is making a two-day visit to Cambodia, said the multi-entertainment venue will give Cambodia a real taste of Japanese culture and services.

The mall has attracted about 50,000 Cambodians every day since it partially opened for business on June 20, and that number has doubled over the last two days, according to the company's staff.

Built at a total cost of US$250 million (8 billion baht) and completed in one year and seven months, the mall houses the largest cinema complex in Cambodia plus a skating rink and the biggest food court in the country with a seating capacity for 1,200.

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