The Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) will seek listing in the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the capital raised will mainly be used for the development of real estate within the industrial park, said president Jack Chen.
Mr Chen said SSEZ is interested in Hong Kong’s stock market as the local bourse – the Cambodia Securities Exchange or CSX – is too small in terms of capitalisation and does not meet the needs of the company.
“We have invested more than $200 million in SSEZ since 2010 and will continue with our development plan for the entire 11-square kilometre area,” he said in Wuxi, in the Chinese province of Jiangsu.
“We are mulling venturing into real estate development within the zone to cater for investors as that is our priority,” he added.
Mr Chen said they are concerned about European Union warnings that its Everything-but-arms (EBA) scheme with Cambodia is now being reviewed and may be cancelled in upcoming months.
“The possible EBA revocation is causing much concern, and we are now working to diversify our export market. We will look into other investments that are not exposed to such trade moves against Cambodia and investors in SSEZ.
“Currently, most of the industries located within SSEZ are producing garments, bags and leather products, with some specialising in hardware, machinery and wooden products.
“In the second phase, we will take advantage of our close proximity to the seaport and airport and bring in industries involved in machinery, equipment and construction materials,” Mr Chen explained.
He said there are now 130 manufacturing facilities in the industrial park. Collectively, they are responsible for the creation of more than 21,000 jobs, he stressed.
Mr Chen pointed out that SSEZ is a landmark project that capitalises on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The industrial park aims to create an ideal export platform for enterprises from Asia, Europe and the United States, he explained.
“Since Sihanoukville and Wuxi are sister cities, Hodo Group is endeavoring to develop SSEZ and Sihanoukville through sustainable development projects to capitalise on its strategic location.
“It has attractive investment and business opportunities, not only for investors from China, but also from Italy, US, Korea, and India, among others,” Mr Chen said.
Hodo Group believes in giving back to society, so much so that 60 percent of Wuxi’s population works for Hodo or associated companies, Mr Chen said.
The group has several large manufacturing facilities and properties in the Chinese city, including a 200-room, five-star hotel as well as apartment blocks for its tens of thousands of employees.
“Hodo Group is one of the 120 enterprises chosen by the State Council to deepen economic reforms and ranks 84th on China’s ‘500 Most Valuable Brands’ index, released by the World Brand Lab,” Mr Chen pointed out.
Mr Chen said the group’s core business revolves around real estate, as well as the manufacture of garments, car tires, and biopharmaceuticals. It maintains a large greenhouse in which traditional herbs and plants used to treat various cancers are grown, he added.