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Economic Zone Reaches Milestone

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A scale model of the Sihanouk Special Economic Zone depicting its size of 11 square kilometers. Supplied

The Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) jointly operated by a China-based conglomerate and the Cambodia International Investment Development Group Co. Ltd reached a milestone yesterday with the 100th factory set up to operate in the economic and trade cooperation zone.
Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurated the 100th Chinese-invested factory which will provide over 10,000 jobs for Cambodians. The SSEZ now employs 11,500 workers and Sihanoukville provincial governor Yun Min said that about 70 percent of the workers are from the province, while the rest are from other parts of the Kingdom.
Mr. Hun Sen said in a live video stream on Facebook that with 100 factories now in the SSEZ there will be a labor demand, providing income to local people from different walks of life in the province.
 “The zone is a contribution to Cambodia’s economic development, while Cambodia is trying to attract investors from abroad to come in and invest,” he added.
The prime minister pointed out, in his speech, that the majority of factories in the SSEZ are from China, with the others from Japan, the United States, France, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Ireland.
Mr. Hun Sen said the SSEZ had been contributing to the development of Cambodia’s economy and compared Sihanoukville province to China’s fast developing Shenzen city.
“Preah Sihanouk province is one of the country’s best investment spots and local residents have an annual income of at least $1,800. The province can be compared to Shenzen city which is developing very fast with an increasing number of industrial parks. People’s income in Shenzen are also increasing.”
The SSEZ is an overseas economic and trade cooperation zone operated by both Jiangsu Taihu Cambodia International Economic Cooperation Investment Co., Ltd and Cambodia International Investment Development Group Co., Ltd.
Located close to National Route Four, 12 kilometers from Sihanoukville international autonomous seaport and 210 kilometers from Phnom Penh, the industrial zone stretches over 11 square kilometers. The SSEZ is a hub of investment with textile and clothing factories, plants making machinery and electronic parts and manufacturing light industry products.
The official Xinhua news agency quoted the president of China’s Hodo Group, Zhou Haijiang, as saying that within the next three years the SSEZ will have close to 200 factories.
Yov Khemera from Sihanoukville’s Provincial Labor and Vocational Training Department pointed out that the SSEZ has yet to see full employment as it was not operating at maximum capacity.
Mr. Khemera said that because of this many unskilled workers in the province crossed the border to work in Thailand. However, he said, there was a high demand for construction workers in the SSEZ.
Special economic zones (SEZs) were first set up in Cambodia in 2006 with the aim of promoting exports. The country now has up to 33 SEZs mostly located along the borders with Thailand and Vietnam, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and in coastal provinces.
According to Sihanoukville provincial governor Yun Min, the province has five SEZs, including the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone.

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