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Harta Packaging bets on Cambodian growth

Harta Packaging bets on Cambodian growth

Malaysia-based Harta Packaging Industries Sdn Bhd opened a new Cambodian factory to meet the demands of a growing exports sector and benefit from Sihanoukville port’s ambitious expansion plans, officials said.

Harta Packaging, a wholly owned subsidiary of HPI Resources Berhad and part of the Oji Paper Group of Japan, is aiming for a $9 million turnover for its recently opened Cambodian factory by December, according to group general manager Chang Kee Soon.

“We foresee Sihanoukville becoming an important investment area for export-orientated industries, with its improving port facilities and special industrial zone,” Soon told the Post.

Lou Kim Chhun, Sihanoukville Autonomous Port’s chief executive, said yesterday the port currently has plans for an $85 million expansion. He said it would be too early to give further details, however.

Total paid-up capital for the Ojitex Harta Packaging factory in Sihanoukville, inaugurated on March 18, was $15.6 million, Soon said.

The factory has a current capacity of 3,000 tonnes of corrugated boxes, but the company has also reserved land for future growth, Soon added.

 “We will continue to tap into the growth of [Cambodia] and continue to increase our capacity based on the country’s demand for shipping boxes,” he said.

Port official Chhun said yesterday the amount of imported and exported containers rose by 10 per cent from the beginning of 2013 compared to the same period last year.

Harta Packaging manufactures cartons, boards, partitions, boxes and pallets.

The company entered Cambodia in 2004 with the setting up of corrugated carton and plastic packaging operations in Phnom Penh. The plant in Sihanoukville is its second investment in the Kingdom.

In 2012, 255,378 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were shipped through the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, compared with 237,937 in 2011,  an increase of 7.3 per cent. Port officials told the Post in January that this growth is a result of Cambodia’s economic performance and an improving global economy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Thust at [email protected]

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