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Phnom Penh Port: Example of collaboration under Belt and Road Initiative

Reporter: Martin Lowe 丨 CCTV.com

10-13-2016 10:29 BJT

Full coverage: Xi Visits Cambodia, Bangladesh, Attends BRICS summit

During Xi Jinping’s last visit to Cambodia in 2009 as vice-president, he pledged U.S.$1 billion for a major program of loans and aid. One of the showpiece projects was the construction of Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, a major point of entry for cargo to Cambodia.

This is a brand new cargo port on the Mekong River, opened in 2013. Already it is the second-largest port in Cambodia, handling more than 160,000 shipping containers annually. Business is growing by 20 percent a year.

It was built by a Chinese construction company, with a U.S.$28 million loan from the Chinese government. The project was part of a program by China to assist its regional neighbors and its “One Belt, One Road” policy to improve connectivity across Asia and beyond. Relations between China and Cambodia have never been closer.

“Cambodia is a developing country and we need assistance from our neighbors, especially from China. We are a poor country with a small income but with China’s help we hope to build a stronger economy,” said Yim Choeurn, head of operations of Phnom Penh Autonomous Port.

The port is 30 kilometers from Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. Around 80 percent of traffic is between China and Cambodia. Cambodia imports raw materials and fertilizer and exports garments, rice and corn. Trade between the two countries is worth U.S.$5 billion a year.

“To do good business we have to meet the interests of both sides. It’s good for Cambodia to get the loan from China and we hope it’s good for China to increase its business with Cambodia,” said Choeurn.

China will continue to play a part in the development of the port. China is proposing to build a railway directly linking the port to Phnom Penh and on to Cambodia’s national rail network.

Building a rail link is seen as a natural progression, speeding up the movement of goods and providing a stimulus for further expansion in turn enabling continued growth for Cambodia’s export-led economy.

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