Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s dominant coastal province – is positioned for future growth as the country’s principal gateway onto the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and global trade routes.
It is set to be modelled after the high successful Shenzen development master plan which turned backwaters near the Hong Kong border into a bustling metropolis.
Urban planning is also taking a step forward, with the involvement of Chinese city planners from Shenzhen. Sihanoukville sits at the crossroads of multiple major infrastructure initiatives, including China’s ambitious One-Belt-One-Road project and the Greater Mekong Sub-region Economic Corridors southern route.
The model of Shenzhen from being a small fishing port on mainland China 40 years ago to being a huge high-tech industrial city today, has been widely lauded as offering a blueprint for Preah Sihanouk’s development and in this vein the government has employed.
The Urban Planning and Design Institute of Shenzhen has developed a master plan for Sihanoukville province to emulate Shenzen.
The master plan has not yet been released. However, it is likely to be based on a core of improved infrastructure access, especially in the form of the new Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville expressway, an expanded airport and greatly improved provincial road connections.
Plans to further open up fast-paced Shenzhen are expected to bring more opportunities to Southeast Asia – a region that has long attracted some of the top Chinese technology companies.