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Government Aims to Transform Sihanoukville into Cambodia's Shenzhen

Phnom Penh, April 9, 2024 - Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chanthol, also the First Vice President of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, announced the Royal Government's ambitious plan to develop Sihanoukville into a special economic zone, drawing inspiration from China's Shenzhen model.

Addressing a seminar on Monday morning, Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chanthol emphasized Cambodia's vision of becoming a modern industrial country and achieving high-income status by 2050. He highlighted the importance of attracting industrial investors in sectors like electronics, automobiles, and electric vehicles to drive economic growth and increase the country's competitiveness.

"To realize our goal of becoming a high-income country by 2050, we must transform our industrial landscape. Merely relying on garment factories is not sufficient; we need to enhance our industrial development policy," stated Mr. Sun Chanthol.

Identifying key factors for achieving this transformation, he outlined measures such as reducing electricity prices, cutting logistics costs, enhancing the skilled workforce, and designating Sihanoukville as a special economic zone. The government has enlisted a high-level technical advisor with experience managing Shenzhen to formulate a master plan for Sihanoukville's development, encompassing various sectors including tourism, industry, and trade.

This developmental vision extends beyond Sihanoukville to include Kep, Kampot, and Koh Kong provinces, with the aim of fostering economic growth and attracting more industrial investors to Cambodia.

Drawing parallels to Shenzhen's remarkable transformation from a fishing village to a global economic powerhouse in just 40 years, Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chanthol expressed confidence in Cambodia's potential for similar success. He urged officials and Cambodian businessmen to collaborate in realizing this vision.

Shenzhen, located in China's Guangdong Province, serves as a testament to rapid urbanization and economic development. It has emerged as a leading hub for technology, manufacturing, finance, and transportation, with Shenzhen Port ranking as the world's fourth busiest container port. The United Nations Habitat has acknowledged Shenzhen's economic, social, and environmental transformation in its documentation.

The government's initiative to emulate the Shenzhen model reflects its commitment to propelling Cambodia towards sustainable economic growth and prosperity.

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