Sihanoukville – a coastal town in Cambodia will see a series of developments. Recently, Li Keqiang – the Chinese Prime Minster agreed to support Cambodia financially – especially in the development of the Province “Preah Sihanouk.”
For the last couple of years, Chinese investors and businessmen are running different businesses in Sihanoukville. These businesses mostly fall in the hotels, tourism, and casino industries. The statistics show that around 95% of all businesses in the Sihanoukville region are own and run by Chinese businessmen.
On the other hand, Sihanoukville requires developments in infrastructure such as roads, energy sector, and water disposal, which are at the bottleneck to the development of the region.
According to Hun Sen – the prime minister of Cambodia, a closed-door meeting with Li Keqiang – the Chinese prime minister during the 35th ASEAN Summit, which held in Bangkok focused on infrastructural development. The Chinese authorities assure Cambodia that they will support the region in terms of development and growth.
During the meeting, Hun Sen met a number of Chinese businessmen and investors who were keen on making investments in Sihanoukville. Hun Sen likewise requested the prime minister of China to support development in Preah Sihanouk since numerous Chinese businesses are investing in the region.
Moreover, the Chinese prime minister assured the Cambodian counterpart that he and his team will make substantial efforts to support various developmental projects in Sihanoukville. According to the Chinese prime minister, both countries believe in and will continue discussions on bilateral relations and grants to support development in Sihanoukville.
The Cambodian prime minister also requested the Chinese authorities to hold the 5th meeting of the “Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee” in Sihanoukville in 2019. Likewise, the Chinese prime minister expressed his support to plan this meeting. The authorities of both nations will further discuss the financial requirements of the meeting as well as the development of Sihanoukville.
China is the biggest foreign investor in Cambodia – and accounts for over 50% of the region’s entire foreign direct investment (FDI) – according to Khmer Times Report. The Chinese government and businessmen have already invested 7.8 billion dollars in the first half of 2019.
Furthermore, this shows great business potential between China and Cambodia. For Chinese investors, Cambodia is becoming a fertile business region and that’s why they are looking to help in the development of the country – especially in different sectors such as infrastructure, health, energy, real estate, and education. The development cooperation will not only be profitable for China but will increasingly boost the Cambodian economy.
Chinese nationals are owning over 90% of businesses in Sihanoukville, which range from casinos, hotels, massage parlors, and restaurants. A recent sustainability report shows that Sihanoukville is rapidly making development in different sectors such as casinos, hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, etc.
On the other hand, there are some challenges associated with the influx of Chinese businessmen and investment growth in Sihanoukville. Locals expressed that this will cause them to lose national identity, cash flow, job prospects for locals, and security issues. However, the Cambodian government is keen to overcome these challenges by implementing specific constraints, which won’t hurt the country in terms of these aspects.