Investment Guide Launched for Sihanoukville

A new investment guide for Sihanoukville compiles the province’s attributes investment opportunities for investors
Ochheuteal beach in Preah Sihanouk, November, 2022. Kiripost/Meas Molika
Ochheuteal beach in Preah Sihanouk, November, 2022. Kiripost/Meas Molika

Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia (YEAC) aims to draw investors to Sihanoukville to raise its profile through its investment guide, following the negative image it garnered due to widespread criminal activities in recent years.

“We want to provide an insight or deep analysis on market opportunities in Sihanoukville. The guide will help investors to reap vast benefits of doing business there,” said Dara Sim, deputy director of YEAC.

In the guide, YEAC named Sihanoukville the “engine and dragon head” which drove Cambodia’s economic growth.

The guide comes on the back of a masterplan for a multi-purpose special economic zone for Sihanoukville, which is being developed by the Urban Planning and Design Institute of Shenzhen.

Based on the masterplan’s strategic priorities to turn Sihanoukville into a well-known city with smart and green technologies, and a key economic pole, investments are encouraged in five areas to spur the transition.

They consist of “smart, sustainable and inclusive city”, “world-class coastal tourist destination and facilities”, “industrial innovation centre”, “modern and logistics hub” and “international financial centre”.

Situated along the southwest coast, the province is home to the only deep sea port in the country and is connected by air, road and water to the rest of Cambodia and the region.

The province is a tourist hotspot with 32 islands off its coast, as well as a focus for industries, where 11 special economic zones are located, bearing a total investment value of $1.4 billion.

The province with a population of 224,857 as of 2021, enjoyed an average gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.56 percent from 2015 to 2019, and GDP per capita of $4,320 in 2019, nearly three times more than the national figure.

Sim said the investment guide is for local and foreign entrepreneurs and investors to know which area or field is available for them to invest or expand in the province.

In Sihanoukville, there are 571 registered businesses, 1,402 entities in the industrial sector and 791 hotels, living accommodations and food and beverage outlets.

The hotel and food sector employs 17,215 workers, or 53.2 percent of the total labour force in Sihanoukville.

Meanwhile, YEAC, which completed investment guides for Siem Reap and Kampong Cham last year, plans to develop nine more guides for nine more provinces by the end of 2023.

In order to support micro- small- and medium enterprises, YEAC’s Sim said they will conduct research on business mapping and business potential, which will turn into an investment guide.

“The guide would help support enterprises and provide better understanding of the ecosystem for business/investment in the provinces,” he added.