The value of imports and exports passing through the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) reached $1.767 billion in the first 10 months of 2021, marking a 38.81 per cent year-on-year uptick from $1.273 billion, the operator reported on November 17.

"SSEZ is developing sustainably, focusing on preventing epidemics on the one hand and ensuring production on the other hand," Sihanoukville Special Economy Zone Co Ltd said in a statement.'

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on November 21 that the upturn “confirms” that production lines and orders at factories in SSEZ have not had any significant hold-ups.

"These numbers will be even higher when the socio-economic situation in Cambodia picks up further, especially from the end of November, when the government reopens [the country] to international tourists fully-inoculated against the novel coronavirus," he said.

The Kingdom expects trade growth to remain in positive territory each year for the foreseeable future, stimulated by “a series of new achievements”, he said, offering new investment laws, and bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements as examples.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post that the company's commitment to investing in production and “effective” measures against Covid-19 measures was the driving force behind the continuous growth of the SSEZ's imports and exports.

He predicted that growth would accelerate further, now that the government announced the resumption of almost all economic activity.

"The stability of the production chains and the growth in orders have led to the steady increase in imports of raw materials and finished exports of the SSEZ," Heng said.

In addition to progress on economic resumption, the newly enacted investment law will also be an important element in attracting more investment to Cambodia, he added.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance earlier reported that Cambodia’s non-gold exports totalled $11.010 billion in the first eight months of this year, growing by 20.4 per cent year-on-year, while the analogous imports were worth to $14.6 billion, expanding by 26.7 per cent year-on-year.

According to the operator, SSEZ handled imports and exports worth $1.565 billion last year, an increase of 26.52 per cent over 2019.

SSEZ lies on a whopping 11.13sq km in Bit Traing commune’s Pou Thoeung village in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nop district.

Established in 2008 and purportedly committed to creating multinational investment platforms for companies around the world, SSEZ is a partnership between by Jiangsu Taihu Cambodia International Economic Cooperation Investment Co Ltd and the Cambodia International Investment Development Group Co Ltd (CIIDG).