The value of imports and exports passing through the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) reached $1.373 billion in the first eight months of 2021, an increase of 44.37 per cent year-on-year, the operator reported.

Using an earlier report as reference, this means the imports and exports that passed through the industrial zone last month alone were in the $187-189 million ballpark, accounting for rounding, rising somewhere in the range of 43.42-43.57 per cent from $130.26-131.77 million in August 2020.

Sihanoukville Special Economy Zone Co Ltd lauded its special economic zone’s (SEZ) contribution to Cambodia’s economic development in the face of Covid-19.

The operator said in a Facebook post that SSEZ “has strongly boosted the development of Cambodia’s exports and has played an important role in ensuring the livelihoods of the people and the business operations of the enterprises”.

Logistics Business Association president Chea Chandara told The Post that this growth indicates that demand for Cambodian goods remains in positive territory during Covid, significantly so for agricultural products.

But exports are still plagued by high shipping costs and a shortage of containers, he pointed out.

Still, “we can say that the supply chains of the SEZ’s factories are [largely] unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic, so production still meets the requirements of external orders”, Chandara said.

SSEZ lies on a whopping 11.13sq km in Bit Traing commune’s Pou Thoeung village in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nop district.

Established in 2008 and purportedly committed to creating multinational investment platforms for companies around the world, SSEZ is a partnership between by Jiangsu Taihu Cambodia International Economic Cooperation Investment Co Ltd and the Cambodia International Investment Development Group Co Ltd (CIIDG).

According to the operator, SSEZ handled imports and exports worth $1.565 billion last year, an increase of 26.52 per cent over 2019.

As of November, the SEZ housed 165 businesses employing 30,000 people, chairman Chen Jiangang shared.

The factories produce textile products, electrical accessories, footwear, travel goods, electronic products, tyres, car parts, office equipment and supplies, furniture and sports equipment, among other products, the operator said in a previous statement.