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Capital’s economic zone attracts high investment

Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times Share:
An entry into Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone's PPSEZ. KT/Pann Rachana

Cambodia Securities Exchange-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) said its PPSEZ has the second largest number of projects among industrial parks across the country and attracts the highest capital investment at roughly $562 million, according to the firm’s Q1 report.

PPSP, a multi-product industrial area developer and operator in the Kingdom, said PPSEZ is a leader in terms of the number of its 93 projects, total investment and the number of workers among all the approved SEZs in the country.

PPSEZ – among the current 17 activated industrial parks nationwide – currently covers approximately 357.32 hectares. It is located along National Road No.4, 18 kilometres from the capital.

The biggest is Sihanoukville SEZ, sitting on 1,113 hectares and boasting a total of 109 projects.

Svay Rieng, sharing border with Vietnam, boasts five industrial parks with a combined 67 investment projects inside the zones.

PPSEZ attracted investors from 12 countries: Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, China, Vietnam, Turkey, the US, Cambodia and Thailand. It mainly targets zone investors involving in the light to medium and more labour intensive industries.

The zone has so far brought it investors from industries such as mechanical and electrical products destined for both export and local markets, garments, shoes, food processing and agricultural goods for regional and local markets, consumer products including pharmaceuticals and packaging, automobile parts, the assembly of pre-produced parts into final products for regional and local markets and logistics companies.

Tan Kak Khun, PPSP’s board chairman, said the company’s financial position remained very strong during, with total assets amounting to more than 381 billion riels (about $93 million).

“We will remain committed to conducting our business responsibly and fairly under the sustainable development framework, regardless of any future obstacles and challenges,” he said.

The future outlook for SEZs in Cambodia is projected to remain strong, in line with anticipated strong economic growth in Cambodia, which relies heavily on investments as a spur.

“As the nation continues to strive for industrialisation, robust growth is anticipated to be experienced across major industries in Cambodia, specifically the agriculture, garment manufacturing, construction subsector and tourism industry. Strong governmental support for the development of the nation has a spillover effect to the development of SEZs,” the company said.

The development of SEZs in Cambodia is still in its nascent stage. Today, some of the largest foreign investors in Cambodia include China, Korea, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the US. Out of the 36 approved SEZs, only 17 SEZs have commenced operations.

Robust development and strong industry drivers are anticipated to ensure strong growth for the remaining developing SEZs in the coming years, according to PPSP.

“Cambodia has an attractive investment environment attributed to its relatively stable political environment, geographical advantage, open economy and fairly-competitive labour cost/availability. In addition, the Cambodian government employs tax holidays, duty-free imports and various incentives such as the SEZs’ one-stop services to attract foreign direct investment [FDI],” PPSP said.

Supporting infrastructure and facilities within SEZs further attracts zone investors, accelerating their development, it added.

Prime Minister Hun Sen previously said: “I want to see the establishment of more special economic zones along the Cambodia-Vietnam border – and with more industrial parks there will be more foreign direct investments, especially Vietnam investors looking to invest our country,” he said.

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