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Factories ‘don’t need to move’

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A meeting to discuss removing the factories out of the capital on Wednesday. Hong Menea

Factories ‘don’t need to move’

THE owners of existing factories, warehouses and other businesses in the capital that rely on large lorries to move their products will not have to relocate to the outskirts of the city.

The decision came after the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) agreed on a compromise on Wednesday.

Municipal hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey told The Post that a statement released on Thursday was to clarify that existing businesses will not be forced to relocate.

However, new factories would only be able to open on the edge of Phnom Penh as large trucks will in time be banned from certain parts of the city centre.

On Tuesday, the municipal hall issued a statement informing owners of such enterprises that they would need to relocate along the capital’s third ring road – due for completion in 2021 – because their position in the centre of the city contributed to traffic congestion and accidents.

The municipal hall and GMAC then met on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

“Businesses [opening new factories] will have to locate them around the new ring road, but existing enterprises will not be forced to move. We want to encourage new businesses to move to the outskirts because delivery trucks are very heavy."

“In the near future, we will ban them from entering the capital. So to avoid future difficulties, we are informing [factory owners] now,” Meas Pheakdey said.

Phnom Penh’s third ring road, which starts from Prek Pnov Bridge, will pass through National Roads 2, 3, and 21, and connect with National Road 1.

The Phnom Penh administration and GMAC agreed on three points in their talks.

A task force made up of members from relevant parties will be formed to determine which type of heavy vehicle will be allowed to enter and exit Phnom Penh, and which streets and hours of the day those deemed too large will be prohibited.

The task force will meet monthly or quarterly to find ways to reduce traffic in Phnom Penh and address other problems.

Thirdly, the municipal hall must, through a one-window service, streamline bureaucracy for the construction of factories under 3,000sqm so they can be built as soon as possible.

GMAC deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika told The Post on Thursday that the municipal hall’s actions were commendable, but moving existing factories would pose big challenges.

However, such a location would bring benefits to new factories setting up there.

“The long-term vision of moving to the outskirts of Phnom Penh offers better locations regarding transportation to the ports, while residential areas for garment workers will be larger. So the association encourages companies wishing to establish new factories to set up on the city’s outskirts,” he said.

Kong Sovann, a technical traffic adviser and the director of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, told The Post that he supports the plans.

“I hope the municipal hall and relevant parties have effective plans for vehicles entering and exiting the capital,” he said.

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