Free Trade Zones

ZSE imports and exports climb 43% YoY to $437m: operator

The volume of imports and exports processed in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) reached approximately $437 million in the first two months of 2022, marking a 42.81% year-on-year increase compared to $306 million, according to a statement released by the operator.

For reference, company stats show January was “more than $217 million,” an increase of 45.64% from $149 million in January 2021.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Deputy Governor Long Dimanche, who recently led an inspection team to assess SSEZ developments, attributed the growth and production gains in the industrial park to strong trade and economic ties. of Cambodia with major markets such as China, USA, EU, South Korea and Japan.

The senior provincial official also cited the favorable geographical location of the SSEZ, as well as the political stability, the effective management of Covid-19 and the “smooth” progress of the vaccination campaign in the Kingdom.

He told the Post on March 17: “The effective control of Covid-19 and the success of the Royal Government’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign, as well as good cooperation with other countries around the world, have enabled Cambodia to maintain its stability and a continuous economy. growth, especially in these difficult times.

“All of these positive aspects are reflected in the continued growth of Cambodia’s exports.”

According to Dimanche, the SSEZ is currently home to more than 300 factories and companies that employ between 80,000 and 100,000 workers, and many more companies are planning to enter the industrial zone.

He added that cargo operations at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port have also increased significantly as it moves forward with development and capacity expansion plans.

Cambodian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Vice President Lim Heng said SSEZ orders and production have not slowed in the past two years even as Covid has devastated chain stores. value across the globe and the economies of virtually every country.

Like Sunday, Heng attributed the encouraging performance to a favorable investment law and location, relatively strong incentives, a high level of investor confidence, a diverse skilled workforce, and a host of benefits from Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

He predicted that the volume of imports and exports passing through the ZSE would continue to grow, especially exports to member states of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

RCEP covers 15 countries: the 10 ASEAN member states – Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – and five other Indo-Pacific countries, namely Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand. and South Korea.

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 special economic zones (SEZs) established in the Kingdom from 2021, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).