The Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh ports generated a total of nearly $130 million in revenues last year, according to Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol.

Addressing an annual meeting to review the ministry’s 2022 results and direction for 2023, the minister praised the contribution of the ports to the Kingdom’s economic growth.

He said the growth of the inland waterway transport sector was due to an increase in agricultural exports, as well as the export of textile and garment products.

“In 2022, freight through the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port increased by 2.45 per cent, generating $86 million. Phnom Penh Port increased by 17.10 per cent, jumping to $40 million,” he added.

The minister said the ports have continued to operate sustainably and stably despite the global pandemic crisis, noting that both ports are undergoing further development.

“Large-scale modernisation of navigation control in and out of Cambodia by shifting from manual to online systems also drove the progress,” he added.

Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun said the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is the most important in Cambodia. The port is responsible for the development of Preah Sihanouk as an industrial province and the reason it will become a multi-purpose economic zone in the future.

“The economic potential of the province – including the deep-sea port, 11 special economic zones [three in operation and eight ready to operate soon], Sihanoukville International Airport and its beautiful beaches – have led to the province being referred to as the ‘rising star in the southwest’.

“These factors are driving growth in industry, trade, tourism and agriculture, which are priority areas for the development of the national economy,” he added.

According to the ministry, said 125ha Sihanoukville Port complex is Cambodia’s main deep-sea port. The deep water – and islands which protect the facility from wind and waves – made it the natural choice when it was built in 1956. Since then, it has been gradually expanded.

The port now has eight docks equipped with state-of-the-art lifting equipment, and has seen steady growth in the past five years.

The Phnom Penh Autonomous Port is a public enterprise, and is highly regarded in the field of riverine transport.