Officials from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Japanese experts yesterday discussed the development of Cambodia’s ports aiming to enhance their handling capacity.
In a seminar organised by the Japan Overseas Ports Cooperation Association (JOPCA) and the Cambodia ministry, experts and public officials exchanged views on the latest technologies in the industry and the most advanced port management systems.
Nhem Savong, deputy director general of the General Department of Waterways, Maritime Transport and Ports, said discussing these issues with Japanese experts was key for improving the country’s ports.
“Japan has helped us to develop and upgrade our two ports. They are small in size, but with assistance from Japan, they have been expanded and improved, particularly when it comes to human resources,” Mr Savong said.
He said that the number of private companies, including Japanese companies, investing in Cambodia is increasing steadily year after year. As a result, container traffic in both Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and Phnom Penh Autonomous Port is rising fast.
“The capacity of business operation regarding the container terminal will be enhanced. That modernised corporate strategy will contribute to trade promotion in Cambodia,” Mr Savong said.
Tatsuhiko Ideda, president of JOPCA, said that, with proper investment, the two Cambodian ports have the capacity to become some of the best in the region.
Yuichi Sugano, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Cambodia, confirmed that Japan will continue to support the development of the port sector in the country.
Improving the country’s ports is an important part of achieving higher economic growth, as it enhances maritime connectivity with the region and the globe, Mr Sugano said in his speech.
The development of the logistics sector is an area of focus in the government’s industrial development policy.
Receiving assistance from JICA, the old port terminal of Phnom Penh Port was constructed in 1994 and was used as a port terminal for handling containers until the new container terminal was inaugurated in Jan 2013.
Last year, the ports in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh Port handled 460,000 and 185,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) respectively.