Chhieng Pich, director of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport’s General Directorate of Logistics, told The Post that the Asia Development Bank’s (ADB) general feasibility study on the construction of the Phnom Penh Logistics Complex (PPLC) is complete.
The completion of the study paves the way for ADB to submit a full report to the ministries of Public Works and Transport and Economy and Finance by early next year for review and to collect input, Pich said.
The PPLC is to be located on 98ha of land in the capital’s Samraong Kraom commune just northwest of the Phnom Penh International Airport.
The location is strategically significant as it lies between Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) and the northern railway line to Thailand via Poipet. It is also located near National Roads 3 and 4, as well as the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSP).
“The feasibility study is complete and we are awaiting a draft of the [ADB’s] detailed report by either this week or early next year.
“I consider the PPLC to be a ‘triple-win strategy’ – the first win is the benefit to the private sector, the second is the tax revenue created and the third is the development of logistics services,” Pich said.
Cambodia’s underdeveloped logistics infrastructure has long been considered to impede trade, with a 2014 World Bank report showing export costs to be 30 per cent higher than in neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam.
In 2016, the Japan International Cooperation Agency said Cambodia charged exporters $540 per 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) of cargo, more than double the $200 and $250 per TEU in Thailand and Vietnam respectively.
Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association president Sin Chanthy told The Post that there are 20 international dry ports handling freight in Cambodia. This, he said, “slows down and complicates the flow of goods”.
Construction of the PPLC supports the government’s Logistics Master Plan, which aims to reduce logistical costs and enhance the competitiveness of local products and services by dramatically expanding options for land, rail and water transportation, Chanthy said.
“We are currently anticipating investors to join and run the [PPLC] project. I hope it will be completed soon,” he said.