Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Spruiking Sihanoukville’s economic prospects

Spruiking Sihanoukville’s economic prospects

The loading dock at the Sihanoukville port is a bustling export and import hub.
The loading dock at the Sihanoukville port is a bustling export and import hub. Heng Chivoan

Spruiking Sihanoukville’s economic prospects

The government’s hopes of turning Sihanoukville into a major industrial hub have experts touting the coastal town’s strong economic potential, with commentators agreeing that the province has a range of diversified opportunities for growth.

Ho Vandy, advisor to the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, told Post Property this week that he expected Sihanoukville to rival Siem Reap within the next five to 10 years as the province continued its growth in tourist numbers, infrastructure development and foreign investment.

“I think that if we talk about the scale of the economy and government revenue, Sihanoukville can earn more than Siem Reap, but the amount of tourists cannot be compared with Siem Reap’s,” Vandy said.

“Sihanoukville has diversified economic prospects while Siem Reap relies heavily on tourism,” he added.

Chrek Soknim, Chief Executive Officer of Century 21 Mekong, agreed that Sihanoukville had strong potential for economic growth in the future when compared with Siem Reap.

“Without tourists, Siem Reap would face serious issues since commercial trade in Siem Reap depends on tourism. Sihanoukville has high economic potential which will sustain the province in terms of long-term growth,” he said.

In line with the government’s aim to develop Sihanoukville into an industrial hub, the province’s Special Economic Zone currently houses more than 100 Chinese companies while the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is set for a massive $300 million expansion.

At the same time, Sihanoukville’s international airport is getting busier, with more airlines announcing direct flights from the coastal town.

State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) spokesman Sin Chanserey Vutha said Sihanoukville’s airport is welcoming more passengers every year.

“We are expecting an increase in tourism arrivals, estimated to be around 1 million next year, whereas we only had about 600,000 last year,” he said.

Cheng Kheng, head of Hutton CPL’s advisory board said Sihanoukville and Siem Reap were vastly different, with each province having their own unique attractions. However, Kheng said Sihanoukville was developing at a faster pace as a result of the flurry of investment activity.

Sok Siphana, a government advisor and principal attorney of Sok Siphana & Associates, said Sihanoukville displayed much promise on the economic front.

“We cannot compare Siem Reap and Sihanoukville as they are like a banana and a watermelon but I think in less than ten years, Sihanoukville will become the second economic pole following Phnom Penh,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • Woman who scaled Cambodia’s three highest peaks eyes Everest

    One of the very few Cambodian women to have successfully reached the Kingdom’s three highest peaks is now eyeing Malaysia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, and potentially even the world’s tallest straddling Nepal and China, Mount Everest. While in many Western countries it

  • Cheap, clean and efficient: The firm leading Cambodia’s solar revolution

    Sitting in her bright and airy 17th floor office, Rithya Menon, Okra Smart Solar’s lead firmware engineer, checks the frequently updating data telling her everything about how well their community services are operating. “I saw in the data that there was a problem with

  • PM Hun Sen: Cambodia will not die without EBA scheme

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday reiterated that he would not be overly concerned if Cambodia had its access to the EU’s “Everything But Arms” (EBA) scheme withdrawn because the Kingdom would not die without it. Hun Sen was speaking to factory workers in