Japan loans Cambodia US$306 million to expand Sihanoukville port
Cambodia’s deputy minister for foreign affairs Prak Sokhun / Credits: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Cambodia will receive a US$306 million loan from Japan to expand the Sihanoukville port.
The loan agreement was signed at a meeting between Cambodia’s deputy minister for foreign affairs Prak Sokhun and international cooperation and Japan’s Foreign Affairs minister Hayashi Yoshimasa at the “ASEAN-Japan Cooperation and Ways Forward in the next 50 Years” seminar in Phnom Penh on 6 August.
Cambodia’s Economy and Finance Ministry Secretary of State, Hem Vanndy, and Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Cambodia office, Kamei Haruko, signed the loan agreement in the presence of Cambodian premier Hun Sen.
Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s only international and commercial deepwater port Cambodian foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Chum Sounry said, “This loan will substantially contribute to the expansion and modernisation of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and the transformation of the port into a principal deep seaport for Cambodia and in the region in line with the commitment made by the Prime Ministers of the two countries earlier this year.”
In 2021, Sihanoukville handled 500,000 TEU, a 6% year-on-year increase and generated revenue of US$93.2 million, up 18% from 2020.
In May, ground was broken to build an international multi-purpose logistics and port centre in Cambodia’s southwestern province Kampot. The facility, estimated to cost US$1.5 billion to build, could accommodate 9,000 TEU ships, with water depths of 15 meters.
Sokhun noted that Japan is ASEAN’s fourth largest trading partner, with bilateral trade totalling US$8.5 billion in 2020.
He said, “Together, ASEAN and Japan have worked to promote regional supply chain connectivity, especially in recent years as we intensify our economic recovery efforts in the post-Covid-19 pandemic. Here I find the role of the Japanese business sector very crucial and they continue to invest in ASEAN, taking advantage of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.”