Phnom Penh, September 18, 2019 —Consistency between Cambodia’s national strategic development roadmap and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) does not trap the Kingdom’s in foreign debts, but helps boosting its rapid economic growth.
This was a highlight by Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen in an exclusive interview earlier with prominent Chinese media at his residence in Takhmao town of Kandal province, Cambodia.
Samdech Techo Prime Minister unveiled similar priorities between the Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Belt and Road Initiative by China’s President H.E. Xi Jinping, particularly in road infrastructure betterment.
“Thanks to the consistency between the two strategies, Cambodia has received assistance from China to build around 3,000 kilometres of roads and long bridges crossing rivers, not only connecting areas within the country, but also linking it to its neighbours,” he said.
“National infrastructural integration and road connections with especially neighbouring countries are indispensable foundation for economic development, and Cambodia needs foreign assistance including those from China to do that.”
Samdech Techo Prime Minister expressed his dismay over allegation that Cambodia’s support of China’s Belt and Road Initiative will bring the Kingdom into debt trap of the Asia’s giant.
He explained that, “Countries in the world have foreign debts. As long as we know well how to manage the external debts, we won’t be trapped by the debts.”
“Technically, the allowed threshold of Cambodia’s external debts is 40 percent [to gross domestic product], and by far we have just reached about 23 percent , while some countries are in 100, 200, or even 300 percent of foreign debt.”
Reaching the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties last year with China, Cambodia – as affirmed by Samdech Techo Prime Minister – will continue boosting friendship toward mutual benefit and shared growth.
“Because we have similar priorities, our partnership is lasting long. We have transformed our relationship from good neighbours and partners into comprehensive strategic partners, and President Xi Jinping called it Steel Friendship,” Samdech Techo Hun Sen underscored.
By Khan Sophirom