PHNOM PENH, April 28 (Xinhua) -- China's Belt and Road Initiative will promote peace and development in the regions and in the world, a Cambodian prominent scholar said ahead of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing from May 14 to May 15.
China is going to host the forum that will bring together 28 heads of state and government as well as business executives from Asia, Africa and Europe.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, was proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of building a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, along the ancient trade routes.
To support the initiative, China has established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with the initial capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars and the Silk Road Fund with China's funding of 40 billion U.S. dollars.
"The initiative will promote peace and development," Sok Siphana, chairman of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI), told Xinhua.
The CDRI is a think tank that conducts research on economics, agriculture education, environment, governance, and health.
He said Cambodia has paid early attention to the initiative and is working closely with China to share the value of peace and sustainable development under the Belt and Road Initiative.
The scholar added that the Belt and Road Initiative will bring enormous benefits to Cambodia, particularly regarding funds for the development of infrastructure such as railways, roads, ports, power grids and air transportation.
Siphana, who is also an advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia, said under the Belt and Road Initiative, the Cambodia-China relationship and cooperation would be further strengthened and expanded.
He said both sides focused their cooperation on special economic zones, especially one in southwestern Cambodia's Preah Sihanouk province, construction of road and bridge, a new airport as well as a new national stadium.
"The Belt and Road's framework provides new opportunities for Cambodia to expand bilateral trade and to attract Chinese investment," he said.
He added that Cambodia has built a strong relationship with China in terms of political and economic development, and the bilateral relationship will be stronger under the Belt and Road Initiative.