King­dom’s big­gest SEZ to get even big­ger

The Phnom Penh Post - - BUSINESS - Cam McGrath

THE King­dom’s big­gest in­dus­trial park is mov­ing be­yond its ini­tial de­vel­op­ment stage and look­ing to at­tract nearly 200 new ten­ants in the next five years as it dou­bles its foot­print.

Es­tab­lished in 2008, the Si­hanoukville Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone (SSEZ) sprawls over 1,100 hectares in the hills to the east of Si­hanoukville and the King­dom’s only deepsea port. Jointly de­vel­oped and op­er­ated by Jiangsu Taihu Cam­bo­dia In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion In­vest­ment Co Ltd and the Cam­bo­dia In­ter­na­tional In­vest­ment De­vel­op­ment Group Co Ltd (CIIDG), the in­dus­trial es­tate has be­come a plat­form for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Cam­bo­dia un­der Bei­jing’s One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive.

SSEZ cur­rently boasts 110 pre­dom­i­nantly Chi­nese en­ter­prises with 93 fac­to­ries in op­er­a­tion on it 525-hectare first-phase de­vel­op­ment, mak­ing it the big­gest SEZ in the coun­try both in terms of size and oc­cu­pancy. More than 16,000 peo­ple are em­ployed in the in­dus­trial park, which in­cludes hous­ing for fac­tory work­ers and man­agers.

Cao Jian­jiang, gen­eral man­ager of SSEZ, said the com­pany is now pro­ceed­ing to de­velop in­fra­struc­ture on the zone’s re­main­ing 600 hectares that will sup­port fur­ther ex­pan­sion.

“We are try­ing to at­tract 300 en­ter­prises and grow to a to­tal of 70,000 to 80,000 work­ers within the next five years,” he said.

Jian­jiang said the new in­fra­struc­ture should be com­pleted within three years and a tower res­i­den­tial com­plex for the zone’s work­force by 2022.

While he did not dis­close de­tails of how the ex­pan­sion works would be fi­nanced, he said com­pany ex­ec­u­tives were con­sid­er­ing list­ing shares on the stock ex­change.

“SSEZ’s goal is to be­come a listed com­pany,” he said. “Cur­rently, we are study­ing the mar­kets and de­cid­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of list­ing in Cam­bo­dia or Hong Kong.”

SAHIBA CHAWDHARY

A scale model de­pict­ing the Si­hanoukville Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone.

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