Chinese Firm To Invest 3 Billion Dollars In Cambodia

Via TerraDaily, a report on additional Chinese investment in Cambodia.  As the article notes:

“A Chinese firm plans to pump three billion dollars into several Cambodian projects, an official said Thursday, the latest investment in the fledgling economy from its giant neighbour.

The proposed investment by China Inner Mongolia Erdos Hongjun Investment Co. — a massive sum in one of the world’s poorest countries — emerged after a meeting Wednesday between the firm and Cambodia’s leader in Phnom Penh.

According to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s aide Eang Sophalleth, the firm discussed plans to build a 700-megawatt coal power plant in the popular seaside resort of Sihanoukville.

It also said it would invest in other sectors including property and aluminium processing.

He added that the firm’s president, Wang Linxiang, had said the business wanted to gradually invest the money in Cambodia and Hun Sen “fully supported” the proposals.

Written off as a failed state after the devastating 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime and several decades of civil war, Cambodia used garment exports and tourism to help improve its economy.

But despite several years of double-digit economic growth before the global financial crisis, Cambodia remains desperately poor, with more than 30 percent of the country’s 14 million people living on less than 50 US cents a day.

China, a former patron of the Khmer Rouge regime, is now the impoverished country’s top donor, according to Cambodia.

Nearly 400 Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars in the country, including key infrastructure projects such as hydropower dams and coal-powered plants.

Cambodia has had more than 6.7 billion dollars from China — over 1.4 billion dollars for infrastructure, four billion dollars on tourism and more than one billion dollars on the clothes industry.

A further 300 million dollars approximately have been invested in agriculture.

A December 2009 decision by Cambodia to deport 20 Uighurs, a largely Muslim minority group in western China, despite their application for UN refugee status, came ahead of a 1.2 billion dollar aid and loan package from China.

But Beijing has rejected accusations that the generous package was linked to the move.

Chinese involvement in Cambodia is part of a complex web of investment and influence in the region.

The regional heavyweight has also taken an interest in Vietnam and was the country’s 10th largest investor last year, according to official statistics measured by the registered capital of licensed projects.

It is also seeking to boost fast-growing ties with Laos, where the World Bank has said it is among the top three investors.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has also intensified investment in Cambodia over the past year, according to official media, becoming the third-largest investor after China and South Korea.

Among prominent players are the telecoms company Viettel and Vietnam Airlines.”

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