The value of imports and exports passing through the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) was around $710 million in the first quarter – $437 million in the first two months alone. HENG CHIVOAN

The volume of imports and exports processed in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) reached $710 million in the first three months of 2022, marking a 50.74% year-on-year increase from compared to $471 million, the operator said in a statement. April 23.

This increase is believed to reflect improving regional and global economic activity. For reference, company stats show January-February was $437 million, an increase of 42.81% from $306 million in the first two months of 2021.

Sihanoukville Special Economy Zone Co Ltd generally does not disclose individual import and export values.

The April 23 statement said that since the start of the year, the operator has “normalized things by taking measures to prevent and control cases of Covid-19, and encouraging the construction of the new phase, 2.0, which could ensure the constant momentum of sound”. development”.

Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Vice President Lim Heng said its favorable geographical location has led to a gradual upward trend in investment in the SSEZ as the number of tenants and partners increases. business increased.

He said Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with a host of nations and economic blocs provide a wealth of opportunities for companies to produce goods in the Kingdom for export to partner countries, under favorable conditions. specials.

Heng added that the Covid-19 vaccination campaign and other “successes” in the government’s efforts to ward off the disease have translated into more investors in Cambodia.

“There has been a steady increase in the number of domestic and foreign investors. The quantities of exports and imports at the SSEZ will increase even more,” he predicted.

Hong Vanak, director of international economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, sees SSEZ’s import and export gains as a testament to the resilience of its production chains and the reliability of orders from its partners. .

He said these gains were due, among other things, to larger export markets, new investment-friendly laws, bilateral and multilateral FTAs ​​and other agreements that provide preferential access to major markets – such as the US and EU – the Kingdom’s large and affordable workforce, and “convenience” when it comes to shipping international freight by sea.

“Based on the aforementioned combination of factors, I believe that the momentum for production in the SSEZ and imports and exports will remain on a steep slope in 2022,” he told the Post on April 25.

But this trend is not limited to the ZSE, with companies “everywhere” outside the industrial zone also registering jumps in imports and exports, he said, adding that the number of investment projects outside special economic zones (SEZs) is also on the rise.

The February edition of the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s socio-economic trends report showed that in the first two months of 2022, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) approved a total of 35 private investment projects outside SEZs, up from 21 last year, with total capital investment of “over $2 billion”, soaring 236.5% year-on-year .

According to Cambodia’s General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), the Kingdom’s international trade stood at $13.163 billion in the first quarter of this year, up 9.1 percent year-on-year from $12.064 billion. of dollars. This means that goods passing through the ZSE accounted for a 5.4% share in January-March, compared to 3.9% a year ago.

In January-March, the Kingdom’s exports amounted to $5.717 billion, up 25.7% year on year from $4.549 billion, while imports were valued at $7.446 billion, down down 0.9% from $7.515 billion, according to GDCE statistics.

In 2021, the value of imports and exports passing through the ZSE was around $2.234 billion, an increase of 42.75% compared to $1.565 billion a year earlier, according to the operator. This follows a 26.52% increase in 2020 from $1.237 billion in 2019, according to previous statistics.

The SSEZ is one of 39 SEZs established in the Kingdom as of 2021, according to the CDC. Late last year, Preah Sihanouk Deputy Provincial Governor Long Dimanche said the coastal province had 11 SEZs, or 28.2 percent of the total.

Sunday told the Post in mid-March that the SSEZ is home to more than 300 factories and businesses that employ between 80,000 and 100,000 workers, and many more businesses are planning to enter the industrial zone – which opened in 2008.

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