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BRI helps address ‘infra deficits’ in Cambodia

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The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) successfully helped Cambodia addressing issue in Cambodia including infrastructure deficits, also reduce trade and transportation costs in the Kingdom. Said by Dr. Jayant Menon, as a Senior Fellow with ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute that the economic relations have been strengthened by Cambodia’s active participation in the BRI since its inception in 2013.

As China is Cambodia’s largest bilateral donor, lender, investor, and trading partner, the country’s involvement in BRI had increased competitiveness which then supported productivity improvement, and contributed to strong 7% in average economic growth leading up to the pandemic.

Menon also mentioned that there were no significant debt trap issues for the country as, by the end of 2021, Cambodia’s total debt was $9.5 billion, of which 42.7 percent was owed to China. It was around 15% of the GDP, said Menon. The country was helped with the improvement of living conditions and reduce poverty including the concerns over environmental impact, land grabbing, and associated losses in livelihoods.

Either directly or indirectly, BRI has also been associated with the development and transformation of the port city of Sihanoukville due to massive inflows of FDI, with competitive environment in tradable goods sector. The large BRI projects in Cambodia include the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, hydropower plants, Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, new Siem Reap International Airport, Morodok Techo National Stadium, roads and bridges, hospitals, rural water supply, and more.

This costs a lot of benefits for Cambodia, according to the second BRI Summit in 2019, the country’s improvement on environmental, social and financial sustainability is being mentioned especially for already implementing an environment friendly for development project. Despite of helping its environment, these projects were providing a lot of tangible benefits to the Cambodia’s economy and improving local’s people livelihoods (socio-economic sector). As one of a perfect example of win-win cooperation under BRI is that the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone or SSEZ, where the projects help to provide a lot of jobs to the workers and served as a role model for the cluster industries and as a base or exports activity.


This article retrieved from: https://www.khmertimeskh.com/501162000/bri-helps-address-infra-deficits-in-cambodia/ on October 7th, 2022

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