Since the Belt and Road initiative is proposed by China, it has been frequently appraised by the world that more than 50 countries along the path respond positively. The related pragmatic cooperation is progressing steadily under the principle of co-discussion, co-construction and co-sharing. Cambodian Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) which is right along the One Belt，One Road path, is endeavored to develop as the Model along the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century.
Cambodia locates at the traffic hub of Southeast Asia, is also an important country along the the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. SSEZ has made some positive impacts on the economy and society of both China and Cambodia. It promoted Sihanoukville City and Wuxi City( Jiangsu, China) to be sister cities, and also made great contributions to the development of Cambodia. At present, there are more than 10,000 Cambodian employees in SSEZ, the average monthly total income is about 1.8 million USD, which has improved both the living standard of thousands of families and the consumer market of Cambodia. At the same time, the development of SSEZ also accelerates the industrialized process of Cambodia and promotes the economic and technical cooperation of the Chinese and Cambodian enterprises. Mr. Zhou Haijiang ,President of Hodo Group, who participates in the development of SSEZ said.
As an important cooperation project, SSEZ is the biggest special economic zone approved Cambodian government, also is the first economic zone which covered by bilateral government agreements and the first one to establish bilateral governmental coordination system. SSEZ takes steps to develop infrastructure along with marketing, to build an international platform for economic cooperation and cultural integration between China and Cambodia. For now, SSEZ has built 85 industrial buildings, introduced 81 companies among which takes textile &garment, hardware&machinery, light industrial appliance as leading industry and offered over 10000 working positions. SSEZ also established one-stop service including CDC, MOC, Customs, Commodity Inspection Bureau, Ministry of Labour, Government Authority of SHV. Meanwhile, SSEZ introduced logistics companies and Canadian Bank to provide efficient comprehensive service for investors. SSEZ becomes one of the local economic zones with the most perfect working and living supporting facilities.
SSEZ is the overseas economic and trade cooperation zone(OETCA) ,cooperated by four Chinese companies (including HODO Group) and Cambodian International Investment Development Group Co., Ltd. chaired by Liu Mingqin. It’s the investment and trading platform especially for Chinese enterprises to extend their business in ASEAN and all over the world. With a total planning area of 1,113 Ha and 528 Ha as the first phase, SSEZ could contain more than 300 factories when entirely completed, and 80,000 to 100,000 labor workers.
As the reporter went to Cambodia to interview, he realized that SSEZ actively participates in local public welfare undertakings and fulfills their social responsibilities while speeding up the construction and developing economy. They pay more attention to the local culture integration, and establish a good international image of Chinese enterprises with the friendship of the two countries passing on.
According to current situation of domestic Cambodia language talent scarcity, SSEZ specially commissioned Hodo University to open Khmer courses, trained high comprehensive quality professionals with the Khmer skills, knowledge of international trade, and the corresponding work ability. Till now, Hodo University operated three classes of two-year Khmer business courses, with a total of 60 training students , and recommend them to serve for special economic zone construction, operation and located enterprises in SSEZ. Meanwhile, to make more systematic and specialized local talent training, SSEZ cooperates with Wuxi institute of commerce , the SSEZ Training Center was established to supply the Cambodian workers in the area and the surrounding villages students with professional skills and language training, to built into the area of staff the training platform, and to make the Cambodian farmers into modern industrial workers. At present, the total of 14,000 people/times attend the training. In addition, SSEZ also deepen friendship with the local people by conducting student, necessaries, such as various kinds of public welfare activities.
As Zhou Haijiang told the reporter, SSEZ’s development direction is to construct to be the new center of Sihanoukville, and Cambodia’s “Shenzhen” as the vision, which means to establish sino-Khmer friendship city, new logistics center of southeast Asia and Greater Mekong Subregion training center and other carriers. It aims to be the key model of “The Belt and Road Initiatives” to promote bilateral friendship and deepen bilateral economic and trade cooperation as due contributions.
Reprinted from Economic Daily in China