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Crossover: China's Belt & Road initiative will be discussed

CCTV.com

10-12-2016 19:19 BJT

For more on President Xi's forthcoming visit to Cambodia and bilateral relations between the two countries, we are joined now by our correspondent Martin Lowe who is in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

Q1. China has invested billions of dollars in Cambodia in the past 15 years. Which areas have benefited the most and why are ties so close between the two countries? 

The blades of a cutting machine slice through rows of sugar cane. The crop's being grown to supply one of the biggest sugar mills in Asia, built here in northern Cambodia by a Chinese company at a cost of 360 million US dollars. The Rui Feng Mill will devour 20 thousand tonnes of sugar cane daily. It’ll provide jobs for a thousand Cambodian workers – a number that’ll grow fourfold as production increases.

"Life is much better and I earn more money. My whole family is working here," said Yem Samol, sugar cane farmer.

Cambodia has welcomed the multi-million dollar investment; the country’s prime minister Hun Sen performed the opening ceremony. But there are advantages too for Rui Feng Mill. Cambodia has attractive trade concessions around the world, including duty-free exports to the European Union.

"We should say that duty is one thing, but another thing which is important is the cost of production which is competitive here, competitive enough for the international market," said Simon Pan, director of Rui Feng Mill.

The mill is already bringing new prosperity to this area. Many farmers are moving here to grow sugar cane. The mill provides a guaranteed market for their crops.

At first, the mill will produce two-and-a-half thousand tonnes of refined sugar a day, to be exported to China, Europe and India. By-products will be used to generate electricity at an adjoining power plant, as part of measures to reduce the factory’s environmental impact. In the future, capacity will increase … when a second production line is added.

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