Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen gestures during a press conference at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on May 11, 2017. Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Thursday that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative gives hope to developing countries in their infrastructure development. (Xinhua/Sovannara)
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Thursday that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative gives hope to developing countries in their infrastructure development.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, known as Belt and Road Initiative, was proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of building a trade 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) and the Silk Road Fund.
"I'm so amazed by the initiative and appreciate the wisdom of Chinese President Xi Jinping for launching the initiative," the Cambodian prime minister said during a press conference at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in Phnom Penh.
The World Economic Forum on ASEAN brought together Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, AIIB President Jin Liqun and over 700 senior officials, business executives, academics and civil society representatives from 40 countries and regions.
Hun Sen said that the AIIB and the Silk Road Fund will provide new sources of capital for countries, especially ASEAN countries, for connectivity infrastructure development.
He said the AIIB is not a challenge against the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, but it is complementary and increases bigger fund to provide for the need of all countries.
The prime minister noted that ASEAN has many initiatives for infrastructure development, but it has no money to carry out those indicatives.
"For China, once they introduced the (Belt and Road) initiative, they put the money along with it. That gives the hope for countries that need capital," he said, adding that all participating countries in the initiative will benefit from it.
The prime minister said that he will attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 14 and 15 in Beijing, capital of China.
Speaking about the ASEAN-China relations, the Cambodian prime minister said that ASEAN has benefited a lot from the ASEAN-China strategic partnership, particularly in the fields of economics, trade, investment, tourism and education.
He said that China is a part of the locomotive that is boosting the economic growth in the region and in the world.