PHNOM PENH, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Academics and researchers from Cambodia are researching ways the country can position itself within the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, a local newspaper quoted experts as reporting on Monday.
The Belt and Road initiative provides an opportunity for Cambodia to engage in an extensive international economic network, said the experts.
The initiative, referring to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed in 2013 and aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
The ancient routes linked countries throughout Asia, Europe and Africa, fostering early globalization, reported the Cambodia Daily.
Relations between China and Cambodia first developed through this network, said Rethy Chhem, a scholar and executive director of the Cambodia Development Research Institute (CDRI).
Cambodia will benefit indirectly through the improved connections that will happen when the very ambitious initiative is completed, Jayant Menon, the lead economist at the Asian Development Bank's regional integration office, was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "As long as the connections through the existing corridors remain, it opens up a broader network, specifically for exports."
According to Cambodian Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan, Cambodia's recent efforts to integrate with the ASEAN Economic Community provided lessons that will be beneficial in pursuing opportunities in the Silk Road network.
Belt and Road can help expand the economy from the country to the region -- like ASEAN -- and then to the Pacific, he said.