Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (6): 1210-1222.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202006009

• Case Studies in the Belt and Road Region • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Exploring the role of overseas industrial parks in Chinese outward foreign direct investment: A case study of Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone

CHEN Wei1,2, WUZHATI Yeerken1,2(), XIONG Wei1,2, JI Qidi1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-10-11 Revised:2020-05-18 Online:2020-06-25 Published:2020-08-25
  • Contact: WUZHATI Yeerken
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901154);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41701138);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41530751)


At present, overseas industrial parks have become an important platform for economic and trade cooperation between China and other countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and they are playing an increasingly important role in the construction of the BRI. Most existing studies on overseas industrial parks of China focus on the economic function, while the institutional and cultural platform function need to be further explored. Based on the perspective of the institution and culture, the paper takes Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone in Cambodia as a case to analyze the operating mechanism and construction model of overseas industrial parks, and reveals the role of overseas industrial parks in promoting the outward foreign direct investment of Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The results show that the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone has provided a high-quality institutional environment and sufficient transnational development space for the enterprises entering the zone by constructing a multi-level coordination mechanism, creating an excellent investment environment, promoting information and resource sharing, and releasing the agglomeration economic effects. It assists enterprises in the zone to better adapt to the host country's investment, and provides more possibilities for a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises to make path breakthrough and path innovation in their overseas investments. On the basis of the case study, we believe that overseas industrial parks have played an important role in promoting Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises' overseas investment, providing buffer space and growth environment for overcoming institutional and cultural differences in Chinese enterprises' overseas investment, and played a role as an "Investor Garden".

Key words: overseas economic and trade cooperation zone, foreign direct investment, institutional and cultural factor, "Investor Garden", Belt and Road Initiative