SSEC: a preferred investment destination along Belt and Road
“The Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) is a preferred investment destination along the Belt and Road”, said the board chairman of HOdo Zhou Haijiang on his speech on the Sino-Cambodia Business Tourism Forum in Beijing, May 16.
Located in Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s only international port city, the SSEZ is a leading state-level foreign economic and trade co-operation zone lead-managed by Hodo Group, a key enterprise of Jiangsu province, and co-managed by four Chinese and Cambodian enterprises.
It is the only Cambodian-Chinese state-level economic zone recognized by the governments of the two countries, and the first cooperation zone signed under bilateral government agreements to establish mutual government coordination mechanisms.
Cambodia, an important country along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, is on friendly terms with China. It has utilised special economic zones since 2005, setting up about 30 industrial parks to attract overseas investment in manufacturing. These zones or industrial parks are authorized by the Cambodia Special Economic Zone Board, while mainly planned, constructed and managed by private enterprises or investors. The government only plays an investment promotion role and provides qualified enterprises with tax concessions.
Sihanoukville is located in the south of Cambodia, about 210 km from the capital Phnom Penh. The SSEZ is ideally positioned with road access to major transport routes such as National Highway No 4, as well as the Sihanoukville Airport and the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, the country’s only deep-sea port, which handled more than 70 percent of Cambodia’s total container throughput in 2016.
The overall development area of the SSEZ is 11.13 square kilometers, with an initial development area of 5.28 square kilometers. The basic infrastructure construction has been completed, including a road transport network, a water/electricity supply system, a sewage and sewage treatment system, and a communications system. There are also some standard plants and a multi-functional integrated service centre housing office, residential, dining and entertainment facilities.
The SSEZ, with Hodo Group as the primary investor, is looking to develop industrial clusters of companies in the fields of textiles and garments, hardware machinery and light-industry appliances.
After the completion of all the facilities in 2020, the zone is expected to house 300 enterprises generating 100,000 jobs.
At the end of 2016, about 100 enterprises from mainland China, Europe, the US and Japan had been established in the SSEZ, mainly in the sectors of textiles, light-industrial products, accessories and other production operations, with some having come on stream.