As part of the Cambodian government’s long-term industrial development policy, Heng Sokkung, secretary of state of the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts, said the government is in the planning phase of creating industrial zones along national road 5.
The policies, Sokkung said, would attract foreign and local investors to invest along national road 5, especially the Japanese who have already shown interest in the Cambodian border town of Poipet. Currently, Toyota Tsusho is building a 20,000 sq. metre industrial park at a new special economic zone near the Thai border.
Sokkung said that the creation of industrial zones could be completed by 2025. This announcement coincides with the expansion plan for national road 5 in which the Cambodian government received a concessionary loan of $160 million from the Japanese government to expand the road between Prek Kadam and Poipet.
The industrial zones along national road 5 would capitalize on the increased transportation of goods and production potential that is expected to grow after the ASEAN integration, he said.
Chhim Phalla, director of the Ministry of Public Work’s Department of International Cooperation in charge of the national road 5 expansion plan, said that the road expansion will begin later this year with a set completion date of 2020. The expansion consists of turning the two-lane road into a four-lane road, he said.
“The road expansion is important to facilitate the transportation of goods between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City,” said Phalla.
Vasim Soriya, director of the Administration Department of Ministry of Public Work and Transportation, told the Post that the road would be expanded from 11 to 24 metres with a grassy median strip separating traffic. He added that the completion of the Tsubasa Bridge, the improvement of national road 5 and the development of industrial zones is part of the larger infrastructure plan to make Cambodia more competitive.
Sum Savert, Banteay Meanchey governor, said the road expansion is a positive project for the local community and would inevitably lead to the development of industrial zones, and thus, more jobs.
“Currently there have not been factories built in the area yet, except for a rice mill,” he said.
Sung Bunna, director of Bunna Realty Group, said the road expansion would boost property prices in stride with investment potential.
“The expansion allows for investors to invest in property along [national road 5],” he said, adding that depending on the type of land, current prices range $5 to $150 per square metre.