A senior official from the Koh Kong Provincial Administration has revealed that the government has plans to establish two additional special economic zones (SEZs) in Botum Sakor district.

The move aims to attract investors and stimulate economic growth by generating tens of thousands of job opportunities.

Deputy provincial governor Sok Sothy emphasised the significance of SEZs for both the national economy and the province itself, as these zones play a crucial role in creating jobs.

Currently, Koh Kong is home to Neang Kok SEZ, established in 2007. Located in Mondul Seima district’s Pak Klang commune, this zone serves as the province’s sole SEZ.

However, the government is actively pursuing the establishment of two more SEZs in the district.

“The other two SEZs will intensify economic activity in Koh Kong. We welcome and support investors who intend to open factories in our province, which would boost investors’ confidence in the government and provincial authorities,” said Sothy.

Separately, Sun Chanthol, first vice-president of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), conducted an inspection visit to neighbouring Preah Sihanouk province on September 11.

During his visit, Chanthol assessed the progress of development at the Sihanoukville Port SEZ (SPSEZ), Sihanoukville SEZ (SSEZ), and Cambodian Zhejiang Guoji SEZ (CJSEZ).

Chanthol said the CJSEZ will open its second branch, one of two new SEZs planned for Koh Kong.

He noted that due to the limited land area of 130ha and the full operational status of factories and enterprises in the CJSEZ in Preah Sihanouk, there is a need to establish an additional SEZ to attract new investors.

“The company intends to establish its second SEZ on a 1,000ha site in Koh Kong. This demonstrates their confidence in our government’s leadership, encouraging them to invest in SEZs,” he stated.

Chanthol highlighted that the CDC’s role after the establishment of an SEZ is to coordinate efforts to attract more investors to establish companies, factories and enterprises, while also encouraging investments in other SEZs.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, also stressed the importance of creating more SEZs, particularly along the Thai and Vietnamese borders in order to facilitate production for export.

“Overall, the more SEZs, the better, especially in border areas because most of our agricultural products are exported to these countries. Thus, having an SEZ concentrated with factories and processing enterprises benefits transportation and job creation in border regions,” Heng explained.

Chanthol acknowledged that one challenge for investors in the aforementioned SEZs is the higher logistics prices in Cambodia compared to neighbouring countries.

He mentioned the government’s preparedness to address this issue with a logistics sector master plan aimed at achieving competitive prices.

Additionally, Chanthol encouraged foreign investors to carefully select their investment partners in Cambodia, seeking clear discussions and advice from the CDC to avoid making costly mistakes in partner choices that he said could lead to financial losses.