Emerald Plantations

Cambodia to Establish Northeastern Provinces as Fifth Economic Pole Focusing on Agro-Industry

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced plans to establish the northeastern provinces as the country’s fifth economic pole, with a focus on promoting the conversion of raw agricultural materials into value-added products. The move is part of efforts to stimulate economic growth and strengthen border trade partnerships in the region.

Cambodia currently has three economic poles – Phnom Penh, Preah Sihanouk province, and Siem Reap province – with a fourth recently announced including provinces such as Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, and Pailin. The establishment of the fifth economic pole will include provinces such as Kratie, Stung Treng, Ratanakiri, and Mondulkiri, with the agro-industry sector as the core development focus.

The economic poles involve coordinated investments across various sectors to support self-sustaining industrialization in a country. The establishment of the economic pole is expected to provide support to various sectors in business and commerce and strengthen the competitive advantage of the designated provinces.

Senior economist Ky Sereyvath, Director-General of the Institute of China Studies at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, has highlighted the importance of establishing economic poles, stating that it shows the government’s attention to competitive advantages in the designated provinces.

In February, Prime Minister Hun Sen also announced plans to establish a fourth economic pole in north-western Cambodia, centered on the “fish and rice” potential of the region. The move is part of a larger initiative between Cambodia and China to establish a ‘Fish and Rice Corridor’ and develop modern ecological agriculture near the Tonle Sap Lake area. This will accelerate Cambodia’s modern agriculture development, explore cooperation in digital agriculture, and support the upgrading of competitive sectors such as aquaculture and tropical plantation.