PM widens S’ville master plan to cover all coastal provinces

PM widens S’ville master plan to cover all coastal provinces

The scope of the master plan to turn the Preah Sihanouk province into a Multi-Purpose Model Special Economic Zone has been extended to cover the development of an economic corridor for all four coastal provinces following the advice of Prime Minister Hun Manet.

“The master plan has received the highest guidance from the Prime Minister to expand its scope to incorporate three more coastal provinces – Koh Kong, Kampot and Kep – and change the official name to ‘Master Plan to Develop Preah Sihanouk Province into a Model Multi-Purpose SEZ and Develop Cambodia’s Coastal Provinces into a Multi-Purpose and Comprehensive Economic Corridor,’” said an official statement.

The goal is to guide the development of all the four coastal provinces in Cambodia to be more interconnected and inclusive, the statement issued after the recent 7th Inter-ministerial Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting at Kampot province, organized by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said.

The meeting was chaired by Phan Phalla, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Chairman of TWG which is coordinating the development and implementation of the master plan with the support of the Urban Planning and Design Institute of Shenzhen (UPDIS), China.

The committee has representatives from 27 related line ministries and provincial deputy governors from the four coastal provinces to review and provide macro-level technical comments on the draft report of the master plan.

Phan Phalla stated that the main purpose of the 7th Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting was to gather inputs and additional comments from relevant ministries and institutions on the draft report of the master plan, especially focusing on macro-level aspects such as vision, direction, function and priority sectors of each province, which requires inputs from relevant line ministries.

Phalla added that this Master plan is a national strategy to promote economic and social development through six development pillars such as industry, human resources and technology, transportation, infrastructure, ecology, and public services.

Overall, the draft report of the master plan focuses on national development and strategic plans, which intertwine with the development plan for each sector by taking into account macroeconomic status, global trends, industrial development, labour markets, special economic zone development models, public service systems, public transportation and infrastructure, tourism and biodiversity, livelihoods and well-being, urban design, land use management, green belt management, and institutional frameworks.

These development plans will be a strong catalyst to boost Cambodia’s economy, aligning with its goal to become a middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.

The meeting discussed key issues including relevant data and development directions. Moreover, there was a focus on fostering collaboration among the four coastal provinces in alignment with national policies and the sub-national development plan of each province, the statement noted.

The master plan initially carried the explicit goal of turning Sihanoukville into a ‘second Shenzhen city’. Shenzhen is the most successful example of a Chinese SEZ, as it helped the transformation of a small fishing hamlet to become a manufacturing powerhouse and a high-tech innovator.

With the implementation of the master plan, Sihanoukville’s population is expected to go up to one million from the current 300,000. The multi-purpose SEZ aims to become a major economic zone in Southeast Asia, empowered by smart technology, as well as an advanced industrial zone serving regional and global production chains. khmertimeskh

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