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Preah Sihanouk talks land use policies for 2038 SEZ vision

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An aerial view of Sihanoukville in December last year. Yousos Apdoulrashim

Preah Sihanouk talks land use policies for 2038 SEZ vision

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction and the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration discussed a draft of the land use policy for the development of the province as a “model” multi-purpose Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The policy is part of the Kingdom’s efforts towards the goal of developing Preah Sihanouk as an ASEAN City of Sustainable National Development by 2038, with the province hoping to become a national centre for economic growth and an international gateway with links to ASEAN and global markets by then.

A workshop to discuss policy development held last week was attended by gubernatorial representatives of the neighbouring coastal provinces of Koh Kong, Kampot and Kep, as well as officials from several relevant institutions.

Ministry secretary of state Pen Sophal said at the workshop that the strategies in the next phase of the policy had responded to changes in potential economic growth to stimulate Cambodia’s economy and are in line with regional and global trends.

The government had laid out a policy to develop the industrial sector of Preah Sihanouk in order to establish the province as a multi-purpose SEZ, he said.

The development of the land use policy would include management and development of Cambodia’s coastal areas in the region “with active participation from relevant sectors,” Sophal added.

The management of land use and natural resources, and the integration of land-related sectors, were based on the Kingdom’s national policies on land management, he said.

Sophal added that the land use and development policy of the province seeks to orient land management with several factors including the geography of Cambodia’s coastal areas, the availability of natural resources, the preservation of the environment, cultural and socio-economic developmental needs, upholding of laws and legal standards, as well as international research.

In the next 15 years, the 2038 policy vision will serve as the “pillar for relevant sectors, good governance, attracting investors and disaster prevention” in the province, Sophal said.

Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun supported the government’s plan to turn the province into a model multi-purpose SEZ.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesman Kheang Phearom said on January 30 that the draft of the land use policy had identified several key aims to develop the province as a model multi-purpose SEZ. They include governance of the province in an efficient and transparent manner, turning Cambodia into a high-middle-income country, the attraction of investment and major risk management resources, natural disaster prevention, and sustainable use of resources in the province.

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