Cambodian minister praises Chinese-invested economic zone for robust development despite pandemic impact

(Xinhua) 10:02, July 29, 2022

PHNOM PENH, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Minister of Labor and Vocational Training Ith Samheng on Thursday commended the Chinese-invested Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) for its efforts to maintain investment and expand business despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Samheng made the remarks during a meeting here with Chen Jiangang, president of the SSEZ, which is the kingdom's largest industrial zone in terms of size and occupancy.

"Maintaining the robust development of the SSEZ is a testament to the ironclad friendship between our two countries, Cambodia and China," the minister said.

"It's also part of the Cambodia-China cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, which has provided significant benefits to Cambodia," he added.

Samheng also praised the zone operator for paying particular attention to the workers' well-being through providing healthcare, especially for pregnant workers, and building dormitories.

Meanwhile, the minister said the Chinese-invested Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway project, which connects Phnom Penh and the province of Preah Sihanouk, will speed up travel between the two economic powerhouses.

He said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement, which both entered into force on Jan. 1, 2022, will boost trade and investment relations between Cambodia and China.

During the meeting, Chen briefed the minister about the progress in the SSEZ development, saying that the value of imports and exports passing through the zone reached 1.37 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2022, up 38 percent year-on-year.

He said the SSEZ currently houses 170 enterprises from China, Europe, the United States and some other Asian countries, generating nearly 30,000 jobs.

Cambodian Ministry of Commerce's undersecretary of state and spokesman Penn Sovicheat said the SSEZ is a perfect example of a win-win cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

"The SSEZ has provided a lot of jobs to workers and served as a role model for the cluster industries and as a base for exports," he told Xinhua. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


Related Stories