Claire Van de Vaeren (2nd L), Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to Cambodia, shakes hands with Lim Chhiv Ho (2nd R), chairwoman of Phnom Penh SEZ (Special Economic Zone), in Phnom Penh, Combodia, on June 29, 2017. The UNDP and listed Phnom Penh SEZ on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on enhancing the economic and social impact of the SEZs in Cambodia. (Xinhua/Phearum)
PHNOM PENH, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and listed Phnom Penh SEZ (Special Economic Zone) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on enhancing the economic and social impact of the SEZs in Cambodia.
The deal was inked in Phnom Penh between UNDP-Cambodia Representative Claire Van de Vaeren and Phnom Penh SEZ's chairwoman Lim Chhiv Ho.
"The MoU between UNDP and Phnom Penh SEZ serves as the very first agreement under the new United Nations Social Impact Fund (UNSIF) on the establishment of partnerships between UNDP and social impact investors in the country to ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030," said a joint press release.
The UNSIF is a unique blended financing model where innovators, entrepreneurs, donors, philanthropists, public and private sector investors can identify and finance SDG-aligned investment projects that create both economic and social returns, the press release said.
The five-year partnership between UNDP and Phnom Penh SEZ aims at demonstrating how SEZs can contribute to the success of the SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) in particular, said UNSIF's global chief David Galipeau.
"The SEZs can potentially serve to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, and to contribute to sustainable consumption and production patterns," he said.
He said through UNSIF's financial support, UNDP will work with Phnom Penh SEZ to enhance the social development impact of SEZs in various areas of activity ranging from promoting equality, affordable housing, safe and healthy work conditions, and protecting the environment.
UNSIF will also support Phnom Penh SEZ to facilitate capital market and blended financing that focuses on "smart" SEZ development that is sustainable and inclusive, said the press release.
According to government figures, the Southeast Asian country has 45 SEZs, 12 of them are operational as the rest are under construction. More than 260 factories have been built in those SEZs, generating over 86,000 jobs.