The much-anticipated Phnom Penh Logistics Centre (PPLC) is expected to break ground next year, according to Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol.
Chanthol made the remarks during a stakeholder consultation meeting on a master plan for "multi-modal transport and logistics connectivity" on June 17 to collect additional input before submitting it to the Council of Ministers for approval.
"We hope that in 2022, when Cambodia hosts the ASEAN Summit, we can sign a concession agreement with Singapore's YCH and break ground on the PPLC's construction," he said.
On March 4, the ministry signed a framework agreement with YCH, with the support of Singapore-based Infrastructure Asia (IA), to study the PPLC project for nine months and to negotiate a concession agreement on carrying out the project.
In the opening remarks of June 17's meeting, UN Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative Nick Beresford stressed that the master plan “opens up the opportunity to use Cambodia's natural endowments to their full potential”.
"From its strategic position within fast growing Southeast Asia to a natural landscape allowing easy connections from the capital out to the coast and to neighbouring countries, Cambodia seems ready-made as a logistics hub. Within the plan, under-exploited assets are identified.
"This master plan recognises Cambodia's invaluable land, river, air and sea connections can be made to work better with the right strategic planning and investments. Use what you have – and use it well.
“I'd like to make three observations related to this Intermodal Transport Connectivity and Logistics System master plan. First, use what you have – we have exceptional natural assets in respect of logistics, and this plan sets out how we can exploit these to the full.
“Second, we can build resilience – build forward better – so that as we return to high growth, we're much better at locking that growth in. Finally, seize a green growth dividend. It's driven by new technology and a long-term global shift to sustainable investments. This is a wave we do not want to miss,” he said.
Chanthol noted that the discussion concurrently focused on the two primary parts of the master plan – air and multimodal transport, and logistics, which is intended to be comprehensive and effective in attracting investment and boosting Cambodia's economic growth.
"We will convene a National Logistics Committee meeting next week before submitting it to the Cabinet for approval of the master plan on multimodal transport connectivity and logistics," the minister said.
And Beresford added: “This important piece of work helps Cambodia pull together transportation connections, hubs and inter-modal systems. Better connections within the country can complement stronger connections regionally and globally.
“That networked connectivity builds resilience so that Cambodia not only returns more quickly to higher rates of human development, but that higher growth is locked in. A strong and clear strategy on transport and logistics can make existing infrastructure more resilient and more productive,” he said.
On September 10, the ministry and YCH began discussions on the PPLC project, which is to be located on 98ha in Dangkor district's Samrong Krom commune, west of the Phnom Penh International Airport.