Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bonded warehouse opens its doors

Bonded warehouse opens its doors

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Guests look at a model of the Kerry Worldbridge Special Economic Zone at its opening yesterday outside of Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Bonded warehouse opens its doors

Local logistics firm Kerry Worldbridge officially launched its customs bonded warehouse yesterday, allowing firms to import and store materials in the facility without paying duties and taxes provided the final product is re-exported.

Located just south of the capital, the warehouse is part of the first stage of the company’s special economic zone (SEZ) development, which is expected to be completed in three stages covering 63 hectares at a total cost of $100 million.

Sear Rithy, chairman of Kerry Worldbridge Logistics, said during the facility’s inauguration that the company is expecting at least $300 million investment in the SEZ, though no official contracts have been signed yet. The company previously signed a memorandum of understand with German firm InSite Bavaria, to promote and attract high technology manufacturing to the SEZ.

“Our company strongly believes that this special economic zone and customs bonded warehouse will allow us to attract direct investments from foreign countries and increase their interest in investing in other fields in Cambodia,” Rithy said. “According to our projections, the flow of investment should be at least $300 million.”

Rithy said Kerry Worldbridge expects the SEZ will generate between 20,000 to 25,000 jobs once it is in full operation. Charles Esterhoy, chief operations officer of the Kerry Worldbridge SEZ, said after the event that the underlying goal of the zone is to attract high-level manufacturing, labelled as “Industry 4.0”. The company hopes to help Cambodia leapfrog stages of industrial evolutionary chain by introducing the highest level of technological manufacturing capacity to the Kingdom.

“We’ve all heard that 30 percent of garment jobs are going to be lost to robots [in Cambodia], that is the garment industry moving towards what is called Industry 3.0, which is automation,” he said.

“What we are doing is skipping Industry 3.0, and we will go straight to Industry 4.0, which is cyber-physical manufacturing, and is already in place in leading industrial nations like Japan or Germany.”

Esterhoy noted that in order for Cambodia to absorb such a high level of manufacturing, it will need to significantly improve the vocational skills of its workforce. He says Kerry Worldbridge’s MoU with InSite Bavaria includes providing training for workers while the firm also has an agreement with the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia (NPIC) to increase vocational training.

“In order to attract investment from German, EU or Japanese high tech manufacturers, we have to change vocational skills levels,” he said.“Cambodia is perfect for this because you have a relatively small and young population, and they understand technology.”

Figures from the Ministry of Economy and Finance showed that trade volume for SEZs in Cambodia grew by 1.2 percent last year, reaching 2.83 billion for both imports and exports.

George Yong Boon Yeo, president of the Kerry Group and CEO of Kerry Logistics, said that the new facilities and the customs bonded warehouse would satisfy a growing need for sophisticated logistics solutions in Cambodia.

“Kerry Logistics Network and our local partner Worldbridge Group . . . are working together to improve logistics in the Kingdom,” he said.

“This will help lower costs and make Cambodia an even more attractive country for investment.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh International Airport wins award as passenger traffic soars

    The Phnom Penh International Airport has been awarded Best Asia Pacific Regional Airport 2019 for its sustained high growth in passenger traffic in recent years. The award was presented by the Capa Centre for Aviation (Capa) – a world-leading and trusted organisation that provides market intelligence to

  • PM responds to Rainsy ticket claims

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday expressed frustration over claims by Sam Rainsy that he had altered Rainsy’s ticket with Thai Airways to prevent him boarding his November 7 flight to Thailand, from where he had claimed he would enter Cambodia. Hun Sen made the

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • Chinese tourists lead international visitors

    Chinese tourists again topped the list of foreign visitors to Cambodia during the first nine months of this year, with the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday reporting a 30 per cent increase on the same period last year. The Kingdom received 4.81 million international tourists in that

  • Princess Buppha Devi passes away aged 77

    Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, who was famous for her skills and key roles behind the Kingdom’s Royal Ballet, passed away on Monday from unspecified illness at a hospital in the Thai capital Bangkok, according to the official Facebook page of King Norodom Sihamoni. “May

  • PM urges ‘democracies’ to learn from horrors Cambodia faced

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday chided countries that he said declared themselves a democracy while supporting a military coup that eventually gave birth to the Khmer Rouge regime. Speaking during the 2nd Asia-Pacific Summit at the Peace Palace, Hun Sen said without naming those