by Mao Pengfei, Nguon Sovan
PHNOM PENH, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese-invested Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) is a model for the development of Special Economic Zones in Cambodia, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday.
"I think this special economic zone is a model for the special economic zones in Cambodia because it has many factories, 161 factories, creating jobs for more than 20,000 Cambodian workers," Namhong said after a visit to the SSEZ.
"This special economic zone has good features such as canteens for workers, places to train various skills for workers, and dormitories for workers," he said.
The deputy prime minister said the SSEZ also has a single window office for communication between companies in the industrial zone and the customs and tax offices.
"For this special economic zone, I can consider it as the biological child of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Chinese Government," he said.
According to Namhong, the SSEZ has been playing an important role in promoting Cambodia-China cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and in the future, the zone's potential will be bigger.
"I hope this special economic zone will be further developed and will generate more jobs for Cambodian workers so that the living conditions of workers in this zone will be further improved," he said, predicting that the future of the SSEZ will be bright.
Established in 2008, the 1,113-hectare SSEZ is situated about 13 km from the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in southwestern Cambodia's Preah Sihanouk province.
According to a Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC)'s report, the SSEZ exported products worth 372 million U.S. dollars in 2018, up 68 percent compared to a year earlier.
The report said the SSEZ has housed more than 160 factories with the registered investment capital of about 918 million U.S. dollars, creating 22,495 jobs.
It added that those factories produce textiles, shoes, travel goods, electronic products, electrical accessories, tires, car parts, furniture, office equipment and supplies, and sports equipment, among others.
The CDC said Cambodia has 45 SEZs with over a dozen being operated as the rest are under construction.