Kampong Speu is gearing up for a business boom, with the provincial administration recently revealing plans to set up 25 new factories and enterprises later this year.

This ambitious move is expected to provide job opportunities for around 23,000 workers.

On August 14, Kampong Speu governor Vei Samnang embarked on a tour to China’s Guangzhou province, where he discussed collaborations and examined production chains at various factories.

Among his stops was the Sitoy Group in Hong Kong, known for producing luxury handbags and leather goods. They plan to bring their successful model to Kampong Speu

Teras Yeung, CEO of Sitoy Group, confirmed their commitment.

“Our company is set to open two branches in Kampong Speu province for producing branded bags,” he said, adding that the firm is looking to hire approximately 3,000 workers.

The journey continued as Samnang led his team to Hongyi Industrial Park in Suzhou, China, where six garment manufacturers have their sights set on establishing bases in Kampong Speu, with an anticipated workforce of about 6,000.

A visit to the Suzhou Industrial Park revealed even more prospects. They encountered 44 factories specialising in products ranging from footwear to electronics.

Seventeen of these companies are also planning to launch in Kampong Speu, creating roles for about 14,000 workers.

“In total, 25 factories and enterprises aim to set roots in Kampong Speu. Their first phase requires approximately 23,000 workers to a potential 50,000 later this year,” said the administration in a statement.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC), raised some concerns.

“It’s positive to see this growth in Kampong Speu. But we must ask how beneficial will it be for the workers?” he questioned.

Thorn highlighted the recent trend of companies that open, then close, without paying their employees as required by labour laws.

“If this foreign investment offers better conditions, especially for those relocating from Phnom Penh to the province, it’s a step in the right direction,” he added.

Nonetheless, he is optimistic about the potential job opportunities, expressing support for the residents and workers of Kampong Speu.