By Sok Lak
Ministry of Transport and Public Works in cooperation with JICA of Japan will conduct the consolation workshop on legislation of port act this week. Cambodia and Japan work on project for establishment of national port policy in the country and that project agreed in 2008. “The goals of the project are to contribute to capacity development for Cambodian officials, to propose the draft national port policy, and also develop the framework on collection of port statistics and to prepare a draft of port law and related regulations including a road map for enactment,” the statement from JICA said.
Currently, Cambodia strengthens capacity of ports which is contribution to the economic growth of country. The coastal area of the Kingdom of Cambodia has the most potential among the three economics poles, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap province and Sihanoukville province, which heavily contributes to the national economic development. Through the important of coastal area, the Royal Government of Cambodia plans to strengthen competiveness the Sihanoukville Port to be an important international seaport and play important role to promote national economic and trade development in Cambodia.
Speaking at the Steering Committee Meeting for the Project for the Study on Strengthening Competitiveness of Development of Sihanoukvill Port recently, H.E. Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said that government planned to strengthen competitiveness and development of Sihanoukville Port to be an important international port and important role in developing economy. He stressed: Sihanoukville Port is the only international deep sea port in Cambodia. “It is expected to exceed its container handling capacity limit in the year of 2015.” Along with the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and industrial development being promoted in the vicinity of the port area, the port is expected to function as a logistic base to support those industrial developments. Through the key object project, formulating a strategy for strengthening the competiveness of Sihanoukville port is important for the middle term of target year of 2020 and strategic master plan for development of Sihanoukville port and Phnom Penh port for the purpose of complement rather than competiveness among two ports.
“The new master plan needs to be formulated to cope with the changes of environments in international logistics as in international socio-economy.” He stated that improve port services, traffic congestion, and management for the purpose for the reducing services cost in comparative to the service cost of other port of the neighboring countries.
Suzuki Yasujiro, Chief Representative of JICA Cambodia, said that the Sihanoukville port plays a key role in the maritime transport of Cambodia and handles most cargo carried by large vessels and container ships. Through Cambodia economy has grown, the container is increasing and a news demand for such bulk cargo as coal, agriculture products woodchips is emerging, also the current situation of rapid change in the neighboring countries such as the Cai Mep, Thi Vai international ports in Viet Name have started its operation, it is necessary for Sihanoukville port to establish the competitive maritime transportation services based on reliable and effective international transport system in line with national port policy.
“To achieve high competitiveness against international ports in the neighboring countries and attractive services for shipping line companies, not only hard infrastructure but also soft aspects such as port management and administration should be strengthened.”
Under the assistant and technical cooperation of JICA with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Sihanoukville Port in February 2011, the project had been commenced in July 2011 and expected to be completed in June 2012. The government of Japan provides $US75 of loans to expand and implement programs in order to improve container handling capacity. The expansion project is estimated to start construction at the end of this year on 15 hectares of land and estimated to finish in 2014.
Products transported through the Sihanoukvile Autonomous Port grew 8.6 percent from 103,594 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first six month of 2010 to 112,594 percent in the same period in 2011. Most of the products transported through that port are vehicles, machinery, constructions materials, garment products, rice, coal and vehicles. As reported, Cambodia’s rice exports significantly increased through Phnom Penh Autonomous Port in the first seven months of this year at an average of 1,000 tons of rice per week. As an estimate, 8,000 tons of rice will export to European markets this August. Meanwhile, products transported through Phnom Penh Autonomous Port increase 31 present during the first seven months of 2011, Hei Bavy, Director General of Phnom Penh Autonomous Port said.
According to date from the Port, the volume of product increased from 33,374 TEUs in the first seven months of 2010 to 43,859 TEUs during the same period. This port expects 20 percent growth of product transportation through Phnom Penh Autonomous Port since last year, the amount was only 62,256 TEUs, he mentioned. The main products, which lead the volume transportation at Phnom Penh Autonomous Port growth, are agriculture product, and raw material for producing cloth.
Source: The Southeast Asia Weekly, August 28-September 3, 2011, Vol. 5, Issue 35, Page 7