Prime Minister Hun Sen has called for further investment in establishing special economic zones (SEZs) along the border with neighbouring Vietnam.
Hun Sen was speaking at the inauguration of the Da Market in Tbong Khmum province on Tuesday as the government works to attract further foreign investment from Vietnam to increase exports.
“We have to transform the border that was ravaged by war into a place for trade, investment, peace, cooperation and development.
“We have to expedite development along the Vietnamese border. We have already established a special economic zone in Bavet town [in Svay Rieng province] with many factories, and here in [Tbong Khmum province] we have the Thary Tbong Khmum Special Economic Zone.
“I want to establish more special economic zones along the Cambodia-Vietnam border to attract more Vietnamese and other investors to produce goods for export. The more we build, the more we can process our agricultural products into finished goods for export,” Hun Sen said.
The second secretary at the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh said the prime minister’s vision would benefit the people of both nations, as well as boost trade and investment.
“Prime Minister Hun Sen’s initiative aims to improve the livelihoods of the people of the two countries, as well as bolster investment and trade. The best way to support our shared national boundary is to create economic development corridors for people.
“At the same time, if the people along the border can travel back and forth and truly develop economic cooperation, the national boundary will be forever stable and peaceful. In my opinion, this is a core point in line with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s win-win policy,” Tran Lam Tung said.
He added that Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung at the opening of Da Market had expressed Vietnam’s appreciation for Hun Sen’s vision of transforming what was a former battlefield.
There are currently 23 SEZs with 490 factories employing 130,000 people across the Kingdom, according to the Council for Development of Cambodia (CDC).
Data from Vietnam’s Embassy in Phnom Penh said that last year Vietnam had 206 investment projects in Cambodia, with a total registered investment of $3.02 billion.
Cambodia’s investment in Vietnam encompasses 21 projects with a total capital investment of nearly $64 million. It ranks 54th out of 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
Last year, the official trade volume between Cambodia and Vietnam was more than $4.7 billion – an increase of 23.8 per cent on 2017.