Cambodia and Japan have signed an agreement for Tokyo to provide up to $383 million in loans to expand Sihanoukville Autonomous Port’s terminal capability.
The signing ceremony of the Loan Agreement for the Sihanoukville Port New Container Terminal Expansion Project (I) was signed on Saturday between Hem Vanndy, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Kamei Haruko, Chief Representative of JICA Cambodia Office.
In response to the steady increase of container throughput in the future, the new project has been signed to increase the container handling capacity and shipping routes calling to Sihanoukville port, which is Cambodia’s main deep seaport, JICA said in a statement.
The statement added that currently, the development of a new container terminal is underway at Sihanoukville port under the Sihanoukville Port New Container Development Project financed by the Japanese loan.
It added that it will continue to cooperate with Sihanoukville port to improve its infrastructure and operation capacity through ODA loans, grant aid, and technical cooperation projects, given the role of Sihanoukville Port in supporting Cambodia’s development.
“We strongly believe that the international cooperation with Sihanoukville port will be strengthened in the future through new projects and it will contribute to promote the long-term vision of the role of the Government of Cambodia,” the statement said.
Presiding over the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the funds will contribute significantly to the expansion and modernisation of the port by turning it into a deep water harbor for Cambodia and the wider region, in accordance with the commitments by the two countries earlier this year.
Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokonn said at the ceremony that Japan is ASEAN’s fourth largest trading partner, with two-way trade amounting to $204 billion.
Japan is also ASEAN’s third largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI), with total FDI inflows from Japan amounting to $8.5 billion in 2020.
“Together, ASEAN and Japan have worked to promote regional supply chain connectivity, especially in recent years as we intensify our economic recovery efforts in the post-Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Here, I find the role of the Japanese business sector very crucial and they continue to invest in ASEAN, taking advantage of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.”