Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japan sinks funds into S'ville SEZ

Japan sinks funds into S'ville SEZ

Japan sinks funds into S'ville SEZ

Japan has signed a 3.65-billion-yen ($35.92-million) loan agreement with the Cambodian government for the design and development of a new 70-hectare special economic zone (SEZ) at Sihanoukville Port.

 

The agreement, signed in Phnom Penh on March 31 between the government and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), a Japanese government financing institution, will help fund new roads, sewage facilities and water supply for the SEZ, which will be Cambodia’s 19th such investment park.

 

“[SEZs] definitely attract more foreign investors,” said Carie Phou, marketing manager of Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Ltd, adding that the zone in the capital had already lured firms from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia with its tax concessions and streamlined permit application process.

 

“It’s a friendly investment environment,” she said.

 

Hiroshi Suzuki, JBIC advisory economist to Senior Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon, said he believes the new SEZ will attract more foreign investors.

 

We think that this new agreement could contribute to attracting Japanese investment to this country.

 

“The first benefit is infrastructure. In Cambodia, power and water and such kinds of infrastructure are not sufficient. But within the SEZ, foreign investors will enjoy good conditions,” he said.

 

Like Cambodia’s pre-existing SEZs, the Sihanoukville SEZ Development Project will also offer investors financial benefits including simplified customs control, low service charges, exemptions from profit tax and import-export duties, and protection against labor unrest.

 

Suzuki said he is expecting the new SEZ to increase Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Cambodia.

 

“Of course, the first option in the agreement is to assist the development of Cambodia,” he said. “However, at the same time, one important challenge is how to attract FDI… and we think that this new agreement could contribute to attracting Japanese investment to this country.”

 

According to the Council for the Development of Cambodia, Japan’s FDI between 1994 and 2007 amounted to $135 million, just a fraction of the amount invested over the same period by China ($1,761 million) and South Korea ($1,509 million).

 

“The necessary infrastructure and facilities will … create a better investment climate for potential Japanese investors,” a Japanese Embassy spokesman said by email.

 

The spokesman added that the Embassy expects the SEZ to create an estimated 15,000 jobs for Cambodians upon its completion.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release