In 2019 the Development Council of Cambodia (CDC) approved the ‘Creatanium Blockchain Smart City’ project. It will be located in a 300-hectare Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kampong Speu. According to a strategist, the area is an excellent location “to implement blockchain solutions, property management, smart contracts and e-payments”.
Much will be mixed-use with 20% “allocated to construction, management of condominium, detached and terrace units”. The area will also include shophouses and a shopping mall to host the linked service industry. The developers said they have plans to later expand it to the rest of the SEZ. It is already eyeing an expansion of its own Creatanium blockchain.
Local stakeholders welcomed the project, saying projects like this are critical to Cambodia’s development. “Importing e-solutions and technology is crucial to long-term socio-economic health, assuming training and opportunities for locals,” Paul Ellender, former manager of Freer Properties said. “My fear is that this new wave of initiatives may bypass the Khmer community,” he added.
Timing is unclear, however a number of SMEs and entrepreneurs have already scouted the site. A typical smart city uses blockchain technology to coordinate road traffic, public transportation, the electric grid, and waterworks, among others. This advanced concept of urban development is gaining popularity throughout Asia. In July 2019, Vietnam and Cambodia discussed plans to cooperate in smart city development. Since 2016, South Korea has been pushing to build a smart city in Cambodia.