Kampot Special Economic Zone (KSEZ)

Kampot Special Economic Zone

The area west of Kampot is declared one of the notorious ‘Special Economic Zones’ in Asia. That means that big companies get great conditions for big investment. Usually it’s low wages, no labour unions, no strikes allowed, no tax paid for up to 15 years and low standards (if any) for environmental protection.

One of the grand projects in ‘Kampot Special Economic Zone’ (KSEZ) is the construction of a city for a 100,000 people up at Bokor Hill Station (inmiddle of Bokor National Park), accompanied by a number of big casinos and hotels for the gamblers.

Additionally there is a coal power plant planned at the coastline, producing 3,000 megawat electricity, together with a concrete factory which originally would be run by a Thai investor, but who recently withdrew his plans for investment in Cambodia due to a possibility of political instability after the dubious course of the July 28 elections. Another company will fill the gap. A car tyre factory, a garment and shoe factory, a rice mill and other (heavy-) industries are expected to follow. Traffic will boost, and with it the transport infrastructure.

The construction of a new deep sea harbour in the ‘Kampot Special Economic Zone’ started in 2012 and will be presumably ready in 2014. The overall costs are supposed to be at least 80 million US$, rather 100 million, while the port itself will cost at least 18 million US$.

The first step was the construction of roads and filling land. The port will be 12m deep and be able to serve big vessels of up to 20,000 tons. The main purpose of the harbour will be to transport mined products and metals.

It’s supposed that the port will change the economy and with it the life of many people in and around Kampot; additionally it will have an effect on the whole Cambodian economy.

The president of the KSEZ, Vinh Huor, stated following:

“When our site is finished, Kampot will become a big economic region and it will not be a tourism destination. It will become a commercial area and more transportation developments will be needed in the future. (…) The main purpose of the port is for freight transportation of minerals that will be transported abroad for processing. It’s going to be a big port.” (Quotation: Phnom Penh Post).

Despite all the great political promises for a better future the first impact is already a damage of the fish populations along the coastline. That triggered a first resistance of the local population against the project which led to a delay of it.

There is another port in Sihanoukville with a capacity of 3,5 million tons. In 2011/2012 the Sihanoukville Port turned over 2,8 million tons.

Know…

This is only a part of the illustrated article ‘Kampot’. Read the whole article on Kampot by Asienreisender.

Keep yourself up-to-date

Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender

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