China’s BRI projects greatly benefit Cambodia’s socio-economic development

PHNOM PENH: Projects under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have been greatly boosting Cambodia's economy and improving local people's livelihoods, said H.E Vongsey Vissoth, Cambodian Permanent Deputy Prime Minister.

“Cambodia has an opportunity to benefit a lot from the , building physical infrastructure, promoting trade and investment, communication between people to people through the tourism sector,” said H.E. Vongsey Vissoth, also Minister in Charge of the Office of the Ministers.

BRI projects in Cambodia include the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, hydropower plants, Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, newly-commenced Siem Reap Angkor International Airport, Morodok Techo National Stadium, roads and bridges, hospitals, and rural water supply among others.

“This one (Siem Reap Angkor International Airport) is the third mega BRI project. I hope that there will be big-scale projects that will come to Cambodia from China,” he said at a ceremony to welcome the first arrival of a commercial flight at the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap province early this week.

The BRI, a reference to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was initiated by China in 2013 to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

Mr. Lim Heng, Vice-President of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said the BRI has built confidence in Chinese investors to inject investment in Cambodia under the cooperation between the governments of the two countries.

“The Belt and Road Initiative gives impetus to Cambodia's infrastructure development. Without BRI, we would not have built expressways in the country. The infrastructure has boosted investment activities, pushing exports, which contributes to the economic development,” Mr. Lim Heng added.

Cambodia attracted a fixed-asset investment of almost US$3.76 billion in the first nine months of this year, up 8.6 percent from US$3.46 billion over the same period last year, according to (CDC) report.

The five top foreign investors in Cambodia include China, Malaysia, the British Virgin Islands, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei Hun Manet, Prime Minister of Cambodia, has been in Beijing, China to attend the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, where he reiterated Cambodia's commitment to supporting the BRI and continued close cooperation with China. AKP

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