Administrative centre will simplify paperwork and cut out ministry middlemen looking for 'under-the-table' money
The front gate of the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, which hopes to eventually attract more than 200 investors.
THE Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ) on Monday introduced a "one-stop" service option aimed at simplifying application procedures for potential investors in the zone.
Investors now have a central administrative office located at the PPSEZ that can process all necessary paperwork for investment, Lim Chhiv Ho, chairwoman of the zone, told the Post.
"Previous investors were required to submit documents and proposals to five ministries, and they often complained of rampant corruption, or the requirement of ‘under-the-table money', among ministry officials, as well as long delays in processing necessary paperwork," said Lim Chhiv Ho. "Such frustrations will no longer affect investors."
Chea Vuthy, administration chairman of the zone and the deputy secretary general of the Cambodia Special Economic Zone Board, said investment laws state that proposals take at least 28 days to process. He said the new one-stop office will cut that time to three days.
"Through our one-stop administration centre, investors will have a much easier time completing their paperwork," he said.
"They will simply pay a fee of 7 million riels (US$1,700) to the government for any investment project."
He said the PPSEZ is the third zone to adopt the one-stop service, after the Manhattan and Tai Seng SEZs in Svay Rieng province.
The PPSEZ was founded in April 2006 with investments of $92 million, covering an area of some 352 hectares about 18 kilometres outside Phnom Penh in Kandal province.
Its development was projected to cover three phases. The first phase, which the zone has already completed, was the creation of an international-standard infrastructure, including a power station, water supply and sewage systems, internet capability and a dry port - at a cost of $15 million.
Lim Chhiv Ho said that until now, a large number of the zone's investors come from Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and Japan, but that she expects a new investor from Great Britain.
"Currently, there are 22 local and foreign companies that have invested with us, including nine companies that have been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia. Seven others have begun construction on plants in the PPSEZ," she said.
"Companies have invested in factories that manufacture garments, cartons, shoes and even a Yamaha motor plant from Japan," she said.
She added the zone's industrial land price has been fixed at a cost of $50 per square metre.
Cambodia currently has 19 licensed Special Economic Zones. Most are located near the borders with Vietnam and Thailand.