The government plans to rebuild the derelict old Dang Tong Port in Koh Kong province into a medium-sized multi-purpose sea port at a cost of $1.5 million to spur waterway trade with Thailand, a senior public works official said.
But plans to break ground on the project have been put on the back burner for now as the Covid-19 pandemic takes a turn for the worse, according to provincial Department of Public Works and Transport director Orn Davuth.
At 69m long and 6.5m wide and paved with concrete, Davuth asserted that the project would take around two years to build.
And with its multipurpose design, the port will serve a plethora of industries such as transport, retail and tourism, he said.
Located in Khemarak Phoumin town’s Smach Meanchey commune, the old port has seen a handful of renovations, with the latest in 1991. Now it sits there dilapidated and largely unused.
Logistics Business Association (LOBA) president Chea Chandara told The Post that the sea port would smooth retail freight transport between Cambodia and Thailand and serve as a tourism hub.
“This port will allow ships to transport retail goods from Thailand to Cambodia more easily and safely. Goods flowing into Koh Kong province will pass through the Cham Yeam border checkpoint, which sees substantial volumes of commodity traffic from Thailand – most goods comprise cement, appliances and foodstuffs,” he said.
In October, public works minister Sun Chanthol noted that ports in Cambodia are categorised into four classes – commercial, industrial, tourism and oil.
Speaking at a discussion about a draft law on ports, Chanthol said the Kingdom has 105 ports – 78 river ports and 27 sea ports.
“These ports play an important role in promoting all kinds of trade activities in the national, regional and international economic development process,” he said.
The trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand reached $7.236 billion last year, tumbling 23.17 per cent from 2019, according to the Thai Ministry of Commerce.
Statistics show that Cambodia exported $1.148 billion in merchandise to Thailand in 2020, down 49.49 per cent on a yearly basis, and imported $6.089 billion, down 14.80 per cent year-on-year.