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China to help Cambodia continue expansion


04-14-2017 14:13 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

During President Xi Jinping’s last visit to Cambodia in 2009 as China's Vice President, he announced a major program of loans and aid for the country. One of the showpiece projects was the construction of a new port on the Mekong River.

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

It was built by a Chinese construction company, with a 28 million US-dollar loan from the Chinese government.

The project was part of 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, Phnom Penh Autonomous Port.

The port is 30 kilometers from Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. Around 80 per cent 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 five billion US dollars 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," Yim Choeurn said.

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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