Development is a very complex process that depends from many factors: from the political will to the compromise of enterprises, the foreign investment and the human resources and how people get the opportunities to improve their standard of life. Planning plays a very important role on it and it does not come from a single brain, especially it should not come from a single social group willing to impose their own conceptions of society or protecting their group’s interests. Territory administration is one of those elements that can play a good role in the way development is promoted in a population. In many occasions, territorial distribution must be altered in order to promote such development process.
In modern Cambodia, the coastal provinces have a very important role in the national development just because they are at the sea side. Even if the Cambodian sea – a share of the Gulf of Siam – is actually shallow, it must not be an obstacle to promote a big development of the region in three areas: first agriculture, fishing and mining (primary sector), services – especially the tourist industry, – and trade.
In this context, Sihanoukville is called to become the capital of the coastal Cambodian region and it is worthy of a well thought planning as a city port, with an international airport, excellent transport and good roads and streets. The city has much place to grow in future thriving districts such as Riem, Stung Hav, Preip Nob and the islands.
A second city that is showing already its vocation as a future big center is Kampot. It has all the elements to be a dreamed city: hills, a beautiful river and the sea, plus its historical connection with Kep Province.
There is yet an illogical territorial distribution between Kampot and Kep. This last one is the smallest Cambodian province and it was created as such in 2004. Kampot has been reduced in its territory since ever, being at the beginning the only Cambodian coastal province – from this one Koh Kong, Sihanoukville and Kep were created during the last decades. But making an even smaller Kampot province could be a good initiative, while increasing the territory of Kep by giving to it the eastern Kampot area that goes along the Vietnamese border from Kep to Angkor Chey, touching Takeo.