China looks to bolster Cambodian economic development

Global Business

China looks to bolster Cambodian economic development

During Xi Jinping’s last visit to Cambodia in 2009 as vice-president, he pledged $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.

CCTV’s Martin Lowe went to see it in operation. Follow Martin Lowe on Twitter @MartinLoweTV

China looks to bolster Cambodian economic development

China looks to bolster Cambodian economic development

During Xi Jinping’s last visit to Cambodia in 2009 as vice-president, he pledged $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. CCTV’s Martin Lowe went to see it in operation.

A brand new cargo port on the Mekong River, which opened in 2013, was built by a Chinese construction company, with a $28 million loan from the Chinese government. It’s the second-largest port in Cambodia, handling more than 160,000 shipping containers annually. Business is growing by 20 percent a year.

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.

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 $5 billion a year.

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.