Public-listed industrial-park operator Phnom Penh SEZ Plc (PPSP) revealed that employment among the 120 tenants of its Royal Group Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (RGPPSEZ) southwest of the capital’s airport has increased by over 85 per cent since 2019, despite the Covid-19 crisis and resulting job crunch.

In a statement received by The Post on September 8, PPSP said employment at the zone had grown to 40,026 as of August 2022, up 17.11 per cent from 34,179 in 2021, which jumped 29.25 per cent from 26,444 in 2020, which rose 22.51 per cent from 21,585 in 2019 – figures presumably recorded on August 31, 2022 and December 31 of each earlier year.

“With political and social stability, plus continuous support from the Royal Government of Cambodia, a business-friendly environment for investors has been created, and we are committed to keep providing our best services to all investors, which will in turn create more job opportunities for Cambodian people. This is what we are proud of as a zone developer and what we call our biggest achievement,” it said.

CEO Hiroshi Uematsu said the trend was common across the sectors represented by the zone’s tenants, and especially evident in garments and textiles.

“Among the 40,026 workers, [the] garment and textile sector employs the most significant number of workers, which is 41.91 per cent, followed by [the] electronics and electrical sector – 23.69 per cent, automobile parts sector – 15.48 per cent, and diamond polishing sector 6.45 per cent,” he said. This means that the number of workers in other sectors falls in the 4,984-4,999 range.

PPSP chairman Kith Meng credited the rising employment during the pandemic to the government’s “effective and strategic” leadership to keep Covid-19 under control.

PPSP reported that the zone exported $492.7 million worth of merchandise in the first seven months of this year, a sizeable 29 per cent year-on-year increase.

Data by the General Department of Customs and Excise showed that in the first seven months of 2022, Cambodia’s international trade totalled $32.821 billion or 21.340 per cent more than the corresponding period last year.

Of that, imports grew 15.381 per cent to $19.051 billion, while exports were valued at $13.770 billion, up 30.677 per cent. The Kingdom’s trade deficit for the January-July period narrowed by 11.596 per cent year-on-year to $5.282 billion.