Prime Minister Hun Sen voiced his support for an initiative proposed by Japan’s ambassador to integrate the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) into the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to attract foreign investment to it in general and investment from Japan in particular.
The premier was speaking at the May 1 ground-breaking ceremony for a new container terminal at the port in Preah Sihanouk province.
He said that in past meetings with Japan’s diplomats and leaders, he often called for the development of PAS into a deep-water facility.
Cambodia and Japan eventually cooperated with an increased focus on logistics by deepening the port to allow larger ships to dock there, which reduced shipping costs, Hun Sen recounted.
“I always called on Japan to expand the deep-sea port as soon as possible. At that time, it was the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who I called upon to speed up the process.
“The depth of our port was only 8m, but Japan was able to dredge the port to reach 9.2m. However, I would like to emphasise that at the depth of 9.2m, we still received only 18 per cent of the potential cargo because bigger ships still could not enter the port.
“Although we had expanded the container terminal to 350m, and 550,000 to one million containers arrived annually, the port received the same volume of 18 per cent of the possible containers. Therefore, we were still losing $200 per container,” he recalled.
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Author: Van Socheata
Source: The Phnom Penh Post
Publication: 01 May 2023