A Cambodian firm is planning to develop a $70-million investment zone along the border with Vietnam in Takeo province, provincial governor Sou Phirin said Monday.
Doung Chhiv Development Co Ltd’s zone will cover 57 hectares in Kiri Vong district across the border from Vietnam’s An Giang province, and will include a casino, river port, market, hotel, apartments and agro-industry, Sou Phirin said.
He said the project should create 10,000 jobs.
“By doing this our people will stop migrating to find jobs in Phnom Penh,” Sou Phirin said.
“We have completed a master plan” for the zone, he added. “We are just waiting for approval from [the Council for the Development of Cambodia].”
Sou Phirin added that it will not be an economic zone subject to special tax breaks.
Youn Heng, deputy director of the Evaluation and Incentive Department for CDC’s Cambodia Investment Board, said CDC will welcome the zone, but has not yet seen the master plan.
Sou Phirin said he hoped the zone will attract tourists from Vietnam.
“Where the business activity takes place, is where there are more tourists,” he said. “Our people will earn profit from selling goods to visitors.”
The zone should help Cambodia assert its presence along the border, while absorbing professional skills from Vietnam, he added.
“If we have enough food and better living conditions, people, police and soldiers will like to stay along the border,” he said. “If people are living 100 kilometers away from the border, how can they think about border protection?”
In 2004, trade between Cambodia and Vietnam reached $350 million; it is expected to jump to $400 million this year, said Ly Quang Binh, political counselor for the Vietnamese Embassy.
“I understand that Vietnam exports more than Cambodia, but we really want to encourage Cambodia to export goods to Vietnam,” he said, adding that the zone will benefit both countries.
Vietnam is working to open up its economy to the region and to the world market, he said.