Phnom Penh (FN), Aug. 26 – Major Japanese retailer AEON Mall has opened a logistics center in southern Cambodia.

The port of Sihanoukville is the only one in the country accessible by large container vessels. A project to develop it into an international hub is underway, with assistance from Japan.

AEON Mall's new 30,000-square-meter logistics center is located in a special economic zone adjacent to the port. The opening ceremony was held on Friday.

The center features a bonded warehouse, allowing businesses to store imported goods without paying duties for a certain period of time.

Only firms with subsidiaries in Cambodia are eligible, but others will be able to use it as part of a trial.

China is increasing its presence in Sihanoukville by expanding infrastructure investment. Japan aims to catch up through public- and private-sector efforts to promote trade.

Deputy chief of mission of the Japanese Embassy in Cambodia Taninai Ichitomo says Japan has long been committed to the development of the port.

He says the new center will contribute to the growth of Cambodia and help realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.