Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Tuesday inaugurated the 100th factory in the Chinese-invested Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ).
Hun Sen said the industrial zone has been contributing to the development of Cambodian economy and has provided convenience for foreign investors seeking to invest in Cambodia.
"This special economic zone provides favorable conditions for investors because it has been fully supported by the governments of the two countries," he said. "We hope that the volumes of trade and investment between China and Cambodia will be expanded in coming years."
The prime minister said Cambodia strongly supported the China-proposed the Belt and Road initiative because it would contribute to the development of Cambodia's industrial policy, which was launched last year.
Luo Zhijun, Secretary of the Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, congratulated the SSEZ for receiving the 100th factory, saying that under the Belt and Road initiative, China and Cambodia would have greater possibility for economic cooperation.
"The success of the SSEZ clearly shows close cooperation between China and Cambodia in the fields of economy, trade and investment under the Belt and Road initiative," he said at the inauguration ceremony.
Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Bu Jianguo said that the SSEZ was symbolic of excellent cooperation between China and Cambodia under the Belt and Road initiative.
"We are very happy to see the SSEZ, under the support from the governments of the two countries, develop rapidly and create a lot of jobs for Cambodian people," she said. "We are confident that the industrial zone will attract more investors in coming years."
Established in 2008, the SSEZ has now accommodated 100 factories from China, Japan, the United States, France, South Korea, Ireland, Vietnam and Thailand, generating 11,500 jobs, according to Zhou Haijiang, President of China's HoDo Group, the developer of the 5-square-kilometer SSEZ.
"We predict that the zone will receive up to 200 factories in the next three years," he said.
Cambodia initiated the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) projects in 2006. To date, the government has approved 33 SEZs, 11 of which are operational as the rest are under construction.
SEZs are mostly located along the country's borders with Thailand and Vietnam, and some are on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and in coastal provinces.
The Combodian government sees the SEZs as an important part to boost the economic development as they bring infrastructure, jobs, skills and enhanced productivity.