Interview: Belt and Road Initiative benefits participants, strengthens ties: Cambodian FinMin

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-27 13:31:18|Editor: An
Video PlayerClose

by Xue Lei, Nguon Sovan

PHNOM PENH, April 27 (Xinhua) -- China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative not only benefits all participating countries and regions, but also strengthens relations among them, Cambodian Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth has said.

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

"It is a promising initiative, which not only benefits all members' economic performance, but also strengthens ties," Aun Pornmoniroth told Xinhua in an interview ahead of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held from May 14 to 15 in Beijing, capital of China.

The Belt and Road Initiative will help develop some of the economically least integrated parts of the world through greater connectivity, including the construction of infrastructure, the minister said.

"As the dynamics of international relations are changing rapidly, we look to China to play an even larger role on the global stage," he said.

He said China is well-positioned to play a leading role in deepening regional economic integration through strengthening regional connectivity and regional economic development.

In regional connectivity, he said that the initiative benefits all participants in Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, lowering transportation cost, increasing trade volume and value, and extending trade accessibility.

For regional economic development, Aun Pornmoniroth said that the initiative fosters collaboration within the regions with a flow of people, goods, trade, capital and ideas, thus enhancing economic performance in each country and region through better connectivity by road, rail, aviation, which will support stronger links in trade, investment, banking and finance.

Aun Pornmoniroth said that under the Belt and Road Initiative, Cambodia and China agreed to focus on core areas of infrastructure, agriculture, capacity building, industrial cluster, cultural tourism and finance.

In infrastructure, he said the bilateral cooperation focuses on transportation such as railway, highway, aviation, communication, network, aerospace and nuclear energy.

On the agriculture, it focuses on specialized crops, aquatic and animal products, as well as food processing, agricultural inspection and quarantine, he added.

In capacity building, it concentrates on technology exchange, international aid, and personal training.

According to the minister, Cambodia will benefit from this initiative through increasing trade and investment with China and other countries.

He said the Cambodian government has also just adopted its "Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025," which focuses on the diversification of the industrial base and promotion of domestic small and medium-sized enterprises.

"China will be a key market for Cambodia's export diversification and investment programs," he said.

Cambodia-China bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative is an example of win-win cooperation, and represents a form of "South-South" cooperation, which will provide benefits not only for Cambodia and China, but also for the whole region, Aun Pornmoniroth said.

He added that the initiative will help contribute to successful implementation of the Industrial Development Policy and development goals of Cambodia in many aspects.

"In summary, this cooperation would provide great benefits to Cambodia's socio-economic development in the medium and long term," he said.

Meanwhile, the minister suggested that, apart from physical connectivity, China put greater emphasis on people-to-people relationship to enhance greater friendship between Cambodia and China.

"We are looking to China not only for financing and investment flows, but also to bring in management skills, technical knowledge and skills knowledge and new technologies and expertise, particularly in the area of infrastructure development," he said. "In other words, we believe China should be a knowledge provider."