Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 712-732.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1867-3

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Analysis on geo-effects of China’s overseas industrial parks: A case study of Cambodia Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone

WANG Shufang1,3(), MENG Guangwen2,1,3,*(), ZHOU Jun1,3, XIONG Liran4,5, YAN Yuxin1, YU Na1   

  1. 1. School of Geographic and Environmental Sciences, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China
    2. Institute of European Civilization, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China
    3. Institute of Free Economic Zone, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China
    4. Faculty of Geography, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
    5. Center for Cambodia Studies, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
  • Received:2020-07-23 Accepted:2021-02-09 Online:2021-05-25 Published:2021-07-25
  • Contact: MENG Guangwen;
  • About author:Wang Shufang (1979-), PhD and Associated Professor, specialized in globalization and geo-environment, overseas industrial parks. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Tianjin Normal University Doctoral Fund(52XB1901);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41701133);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971161);Major Program of National Social Science Foundation of China(20&ZD138);Tianjin Normal University Interdisciplinary Integration Innovation Team Project(135205RH08)


China’s overseas industrial parks contribute to political and economic cooperation, cultural exchange between home and host countries. Current studies mainly discuss the effect of overseas industrial parks from the perspective of institutional and cultural difference, multi-scale coupling, as well as key partnerships, while little attention has been paid to the comprehensive analysis of overseas industrial parks. Based on a theoretical framework, this paper explores the overall effect of China’s overseas industrial parks from the geo-effects perspective by using field interviews and a case study approach. The research shows that: (1) the geo-effects reveal the over effect of overseas industrial parks from the multiple and complementary dimensions of geopolitics, geo-economics, geo-society and geo-culture; (2) the Cambodia Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, as a flagship BRI project, has produced the prominent and positive geo-effects; (3) the institutional-economic-cultural-environmental adaptability of overseas industrial parks is becoming important. Overseas industrial parks must be rooted in the politics, economy, society, and culture of host country; embedded in local social networks; balance the rights and interests of all stakeholders; and form the community of interests, community of destiny, and community of responsibility with political mutual trust, economic integration, cultural inclusiveness, and social harmony. The paper not only deepens the understanding about the overall effect of overseas industrial parks, but also provides decision support and theoretical reference for government policy makers and the overseas investment of enterprises.

Key words: overseas industrial parks, geo-effects, the Belt and Road, Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone