Vietnam's Cai Mep port has contributed to a growth in shipments from the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port this year, Cambodian officials say.
The Vietnamese deep-water port, near Ho Chi Minh City, allows cargo to be transferred to ships travelling to more distant markets such as the European Union.
“We have noticed that since we began operations [through Cai Mep] to the EU, the shipments have increased,” PPAP commercial director Eang Veng Sun said.
This linkage had spurred a 30 per cent rise in cargo transactions through PPAP compared with the first half of 2010, Eang Veng Sun said.
Major categories of goods handled by the port included milled rice and garment and textile products, he said.
“We have updated our port by opening some new lines to Cai Mep port, so we can now offer a better service and affordable prices.
“Normally, companies export products to the EU.”
A total of 35,149 twenty- foot equivalent units (TEUs) have passed through the Cambodian port so far this year, a 31 per cent increase on the 26,790 during the corr-esponding period last year.
Several Cambodian companies say they have benefited from the Vietnamese port’s link to Europe.
During the first half of this year, rice miller Khmer Rice exported more than 10,000 tonnes of rice to Europe.
“Our exports mainly go through PPAP to save time and money on transport costs,” Khmer Rice managing director Kin Savuth said.
The company expects to export about 20,000 tonnes of milled rice to the EU this year.
Cambodia exported 42,669 tonnes of milled rice during the first four months of 2011, in contrast to the 21,322 exported in the corresponding period of last year.
Garment exports rose 27 per cent, hitting $1.4 billion.
The port was capable of handling about 7,000 TEUs a month, but with the continuing increase in cargo, PPAP had submitted plans to open a further two ports, Eang Ven Sun said.
“The government will approve the projects due to our recent capacity, but these ports will deal only with containers, so large warehouses and the appropriate lifting equipment are required.”
The potential ports would be situated on the Tonle Sap River in Russei Keo district and Kampong Cham province, Eang Ven Sun said, but he declined to discuss the fin-ances of the project.
The ports project was still undergoing feasibility studies, he said.