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Kingdom’s biggest SEZ to get even bigger

A scale model depicting the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone.
A scale model depicting the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone. Sahiba Chawdhary

Kingdom’s biggest SEZ to get even bigger

The Kingdom’s biggest industrial park is moving beyond its initial development stage and looking to attract nearly 200 new tenants in the next five years as it doubles its footprint.

Established in 2008, the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) sprawls over 1,100 hectares in the hills to the east of Sihanoukville and the Kingdom’s only deepsea port. Jointly developed and operated by Jiangsu Taihu Cambodia International Economic Cooperation Investment Co Ltd and the Cambodia International Investment Development Group Co Ltd (CIIDG), the industrial estate has become a platform for cooperation between China and Cambodia under Beijing’s One Belt, One Road initiative.

SSEZ currently boasts 110 predominantly Chinese enterprises with 93 factories in operation on it 525-hectare first-phase development, making it the biggest SEZ in the country both in terms of size and occupancy. More than 16,000 people are employed in the industrial park, which includes housing for factory workers and managers.

Cao Jianjiang, general manager of SSEZ, said the company is now proceeding to develop infrastructure on the zone’s remaining 600 hectares that will support further expansion.

“We are trying to attract 300 enterprises and grow to a total of 70,000 to 80,000 workers within the next five years,” he said.

Jianjiang said the new infrastructure should be completed within three years and a tower residential complex for the zone’s workforce by 2022.

While he did not disclose details of how the expansion works would be financed, he said company executives were considering listing shares on the stock exchange.

“SSEZ’s goal is to become a listed company,” he said. “Currently, we are studying the markets and deciding the feasibility of listing in Cambodia or Hong Kong.”

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