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Sihanoukville Set for Transformation: Government Reviews Ambitious SEZ Master Plan

Phnom Penh, July 9, 2024 : On Tuesday, the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee for the Master Plan for the Development of Sihanoukville into a Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone (SEZ) convened its third meeting at the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Chaired by Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, the session focused on reviewing and providing feedback on the draft "Master Plan for the Development of Sihanoukville into a Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone" and its accompanying "Action Plan" before submission to the Royal Government for approval.

Attendees included inter-ministerial leaders, governors of the Sihanoukville Provincial Board of Governors, and senior leaders from relevant ministries and institutions. The Ministry of Economy and Finance issued a press release highlighting this as a significant milestone for the Royal Government of the 7th legislature of the National Assembly, aligned with the "Pentagon Strategy Phase 1" under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Manet.

The master plan aims to transform Sihanoukville into a crucial economic hub, promoting economic growth, social development, and sustainable environmental protection. The vision for Sihanoukville includes:

1. Becoming Cambodia's international gateway with a multimodal transport and logistics hub, business hub, and international financial center.

2. Evolving into a global coastal and archipelago tourism destination, a national industrial development center, and a national technology innovation hub.

3. Establishing itself as a major ASEAN city known for sustainability, multiculturalism, and smart green initiatives.

The implementation will occur in two phases:

- Phase 1 (2025-2028): Focus on integrating Sihanoukville into the regional trading system, expanding logistics and tourism, and enhancing the old city while developing new areas to attract investment.

- Phase 2 (2029-2038): Strengthen Sihanoukville's role as a national gateway and regional hub in finance, trade, industrial development, transportation, and technology, while fostering entrepreneurship and evolving into a high-income, prosperous province.

The meeting concluded with commendations for the draft master plan and action plan, with discussions on refining certain aspects for clarity and consistency. Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth expressed gratitude for the collaboration and hard work of all involved, particularly the inter-ministerial technical working group and the KPRA Secretariat, in making the draft master plan comprehensive and aligned with the Royal Government’s vision.

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