Preah Sihanouk talks about land use policies for SEZ 2038 vision

An aerial view of Sihanoukville last December. Yousos Apdoulrashim

The Ministry of Land Use Planning and Construction and the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration discussed a draft land use policy for the development of the province as an area special economic (ZES) multi-purpose “model”.

The policy is part of the Kingdom’s efforts towards the goal of making Preah Sihanouk an ASEAN National Sustainable Development City by 2038, with the province hoping to become a national center of economic growth and an international gateway with links to ASEAN and world markets next.

A workshop to discuss policy-making held last week brought together representatives of the governors of the neighboring coastal provinces of Koh Kong, Kampot and Kep, as well as officials from several relevant institutions.

The Ministry’s Secretary of State, Pen Sophal, told the workshop that the strategies for the next phase of the policy responded to changes in potential economic growth to boost the Cambodian economy and were in line with regional trends and world.

The government has defined a policy for the development of the industrial sector of Preah Sihanouk in order to make the province a multi-purpose SEZ, he said.

The land use policy development would include the management and development of Cambodia’s coastal areas in the region “with the active participation of relevant sectors”, Sophal added.

The management of land use and natural resources, and the integration of land-related sectors, were based on the Kingdom’s national land management policies, he said.

Sophal added that the province’s land use and development policy seeks to guide land management with several factors, including the geography of Cambodia’s coastal areas, availability of natural resources, environmental preservation, cultural and socio-economic development needs, maintenance of laws and legal standards, and international research.

Over the next 15 years, the 2038 policy vision will serve as a “pillar for relevant sectors, good governance, investor attraction and disaster prevention” in the province, Sophal said.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Governor Kuoch Chamroeun has backed the government’s plan to transform the province into a model multipurpose SEZ.

Preah Sihanouk provincial administration spokesman Kheang Phearom said on Jan. 30 that the draft land use policy had identified several key objectives to develop the province as a model multipurpose SEZ. They include governing the province effectively and transparently, making Cambodia an upper-middle-income country, attracting investment resources and managing major risks, preventing natural disasters and using sustainability of the province’s resources.

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