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Cambodian PM's attendance at BRF enhances China-Cambodia ties, int'l cooperation

Copyfrom:Xinhua News AgencyPost Time:2019-04-30 11:05:51

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen's attendance at the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing has further enhanced Cambodia-China ties and international cooperation, said a Cambodian official and academics on Monday. 

Hun Sen returned home on Monday afternoon after taking part in the second BRF from April 25 to 27 and in the opening ceremony of the International Horticultural Exhibition on April 28 in Beijing. 

"It was a successful trip that has brought a lot of benefits to Cambodia," Kao Kim Hourn, a minister attached to the Cambodian prime minister, said in a press conference at the Phnom Penh International Airport. 

"The prime minister's participation in the second BRF has strengthened and expanded cooperation between Cambodia and China in particular, and between Cambodia and other BRI participating countries in general," he said. 

Kim Hourn said the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has provided tremendous opportunities for Cambodia to develop infrastructure, to promote international cooperation, to attract investments, and to seek new markets for its products. 

In Beijing, Hun Sen also met with Chinese leaders, he said, adding that a number of cooperation documents were signed by officials of the two countries. 

"These cooperation agreements have opened a new chapter for Cambodia-China cooperation," Kim Hourn said. 

Mey Kalyan, chairman of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, said it was an excellent gesture that Cambodia was invited to this important BRF along with many other countries. 

He said the BRF discussed many issues relevant to Cambodia including quality infrastructure, environment, inclusiveness, anti-corruption, people-to-people bonds, involvement of local people in BRI projects, and assistance to elevate technical skills for the Cambodian people. 

"All these elements, which have been weak in the past, are very beneficial to the real development in Cambodia," he told Xinhua. "We are looking forwards to seeing good implementation of these good concepts that will create win-win situation for both countries." 

Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at the Beltei International University in Phnom Penh, said China's development assistance and investment projects in Cambodia have so far concentrated on hard infrastructure and labor-intensive industry. 

He said digital economy is the future economic sector of Cambodia, and key challenges facing Cambodia to realize a full-fledged digital economy are the lack of human resources, digital infrastructure, and public and private investment in innovation and entrepreneurship. 

"Mega Chinese private companies like Huawei and Alibaba could help Cambodia to build the necessary infrastructure and human capital to help the kingdom fully harness digital economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution," he said.

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