Key government and business leaders in Cambodia highlighted the nation’s progress in transport infrastructure development as a catalyst for attracting direct investment and enhancing its global market competitiveness.

Heng Norn, secretary of state at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, engaged in discussions with Francois Shih, director-general of Sharpland Group on February 26, as stated in a ministry press release. 

The meeting focused on exploring investment opportunities in the Kingdom in the areas of land, waterway and port transportation. There was also a request for support and guidance from the ministry’s leadership on some of the group’s projects.

Norn briefed the company on the policy of the government, which emphasises key priority areas including people, roads, water, electricity and technology, aiming to move the country into upper-middle-income status by 2030.

Chea Chandara, president of the Logistics and Supply Chain Business Association in Cambodia (LOSCBA), told The Post on February 27 about the crucial role of the transport sector in fostering national economic growth. 

He noted its significance in creating an attractive environment for investors and boosting international market competitiveness. 

Chandara acknowledged the improvements in the transport sector compared to a few years ago, but also recognised its limitations compared to neighbouring countries, necessitating further efforts.

He stated that robust transport infrastructure leads to reduced shipping costs and time savings, resulting in greater benefits and confidence for investors.

“Before deciding to invest in a location or country, every investor should first examine and assess the transport network for importing raw materials, circulating labour and the movement of goods to market. Enhanced and more extensive infrastructure will attract a greater number of financiers to either invest in or procure more goods from the country,” he explained.

Tan Monivann, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), previously noted that ongoing road infrastructure development, particularly expressways, reflects the government’s long-term strategy to stimulate national economic growth and attract more financing. 

“All infrastructure plays a crucial role in economic development, as … growth cannot be achieved in isolation. It requires integration with regional economies. Therefore, maximising the use of [these networks] and cooperating with relevant countries as soon as possible is essential,” he added.

During the recent annual review meeting of the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prime Minister Hun Manet expressed his ambition to construct high-quality expressways, both under and above ground, alongside high-rise buildings, emulating many developed countries

“In the near future, Cambodia will have the capability to build all its own infrastructure, including expressways and subways. I am determined to see this vision realised,” he stated.

The premier noted the Kingdom’s rapid advancement in acquiring the necessary expertise for complex civic and engineering projects without foreign assistance. 

Citing an example from the 1990s, Manet mentioned how international agencies like the World Bank aided the country in fiscal policy development, but highlighted that now Cambodian specialists possess the skills to undertake such tasks independently.

He added that this includes the capability to construct high-rise buildings and bridges.

The prime minister expressed his belief that although subway systems are not yet a reality, they will surely be part of the Kingdom’s future.