Cambodia: Transport sector’s decline to continue in early 2023

As the freight services are on the decline, the freight rates that are reasonable at present, are likely to fall, said the Cambodian Logistics Association (CLA). But the future scenario that depends on various factors, like the growth of the economy and domestic and international transportation, cannot be assessed now, it added.

“After the Cambodian government announced the reopening of the country at the end of 2021, the transport sector, in general, is continuing to decline in the absence of freight traffic.  A lot depends on the favourable factors of the economy, both domestic and international. But the global economic situation is constantly changing,” CLA President Sin Chanthy told Khmer Times.

Talking about the Transportation Outlook 2023, he said, “The situation in Cambodia’s transport sector is deteriorating due to the global scenario.” He said due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the shipping tariffs have declined slightly, while oil prices remain high.

In 2023, the Royal Government plans to spend a lot of national budget capital to support the implementation of the three-year rolling Public Investment Programme (2023-25), especially the strategic plan to restore and promote economic growth.

The primary objective of the rolling Public Investment Program (PIP) is to present data on high-priority public investment projects of the government ministries and agencies that are outlined in the Rectangular Strategy Phase III and the roadmap for the implementation of these policies presented in the NSDP 2019-23.

The NSDP 2019-23, approved by the National Assembly on July 4, 2019, was prepared based on inputs from each ministry and agency of the government. In the preparation of their inputs for the Ministry of Planning, the ministries and agencies had consultations with their relevant stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport  (MPWT) plans to develop four logistics complexes in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Bavet and Poipet under the $19 billion logistics master plan, which is among the seven master plans for the intermodal transportation connectivity.

The PPLC is expected to improve the competitiveness of the logistics industry of Cambodia by reducing costs and time but improving reliability as compared with neighbouring countries like Thailand and Vietnam.

“The government is promoting digitalisation through the Cambodia National Single Window project for various applications. Though the platform is not like other countries, we must use advanced digital processes to transmit information. The digital processes contribute to speeding up transportation, reducing costs and difficulties,” Chanthy said.