The Sihanoukville Port Special Economic Zone (SPSEZ), the Kingdom’s first state-owned Special Economic Zone, was finally inaugurated on Tuesday.
SPSEZ, located next to the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, around 230 km southwest of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, came to reality thanks to a low-interest-rate loan from the Japanese government, amounting to US$35 million.
Works on the physical infrastructure, electricity lines and water system in the 70-ha zone started in October 2009.
“Cambodia has a lot of Special Economic Zones, but the SPSEZ is the only one state-owned industrial zone,” said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during the inauguration ceremony, calling for Japanese investors to build their business ventures in the economic zone. ”I believe that Japanese investors will begin to invest and build factories in the zone in order to manufacture goods for exports as the zone is next to the international Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.”
It was in 2006 when the Kingdom first created a SEZ, with its aim to draw investors to construct factories within the zone to produce goods for exports.
Cambodia now has 21 SEZs, located along the borders with Vietnam and Thailand, and on the outskirts of the capital and Sihanoukville province, said the Council for the Development of Cambodia. Less than 10 zones, however, are operational.
The Cambodian government considers SEZs as essential part of its economic development as they bring jobs, skills, infrastructure and improved productivity.
Investors in these zones will gain from various fiscal incentives like customs, income tax and VAT benefits.