Koh Kong province’s first international seaport, invested in and developed by Koh Kong Port Management Co Ltd, is scheduled to launch in the second half of the year, as a number of linked infrastructure works reach completion, according to provincial governor Mithona Phoutong.

The government awarded the company a lease agreement for maritime transport purposes for the seaport’s site, located in Kiri Sakor district’s Koh Sdech village and commune in the southwestern corner of the coastal province, reportedly within the boundaries of the Dara Sakor Resort – an area touted as a “luxury eco-tourism destination”.

Phouthong told The Post on May 4 that the new port, Koh Kong’s largest, would be able to handle “large” international vessels, reducing reliance on harbours in neighbouring Preah Sihanouk province or bordering countries.

The facility, “a gateway for the import and export of goods between Cambodia and the international market”, will create job opportunities for many Cambodians, improve prospects for agricultural exports, and bring in more revenue to state coffers, she said.

“We are currently preparing some documents and procedures to launch the port, which could be operational in the next two or three months,” she said. “I’m very pleased and I welcome the port, along with the host of positive effects it’ll bring for the Cambodian economy.”

Logistics and Supply Chain Business Association in Cambodia (Loscba) president Chea Chandara remarked that international seaports provide an affordable and safe option for freight transport and are overall beneficial to a nation’s economy.

As manufacturing and agricultural outputs improve, Cambodia will require an increasing number of international ports to ship goods abroad, he said, adding that these facilities help attract new investment and businesses to the Kingdom.

“The [Koh Kong] port project will greatly benefit the Cambodian economy, by opening more export channels in addition to attracting investors to open factories in Cambodia and export their products to be sold abroad,” he told The Post on May 4.

At a meeting with Koh Kong authorities on May 2 chaired by deputy provincial governor Y Nearynet, Koh Kong Port Management boss Gao Liang reportedly went over completed infrastructure works and documentation, and claimed that port will add impetus to economic development, after it opens “in the near future”.

The Ministry of Commerce’s business registry notes that Koh Kong Port Management was incorporated just on October 5, and lists three officers for the company: “Phan Kanary”, “Gao Liang” and “Wang Sijun” – the latter two of whom have postal registered office addresses in China’s Henan province.

In a bid to improve the Kingdom’s goods export capacity, the government has embarked on a whole slew of major infrastructure projects, such as two expressways linking the capital to either Sihanoukville or Svay Rieng’s Bavet town, as well as a waterway link from the Bassac River to the sea in the Kampot-Kep region.