Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - $1.8bn corridor shortfall

$1.8bn corridor shortfall

$1.8bn corridor shortfall

THE Asian Development Bank has identified a US$1.8 billion funding gap for its plans to develop the Southern Economic Corridor, linking Cambodia and its three neighbours.

Aiming to improve infrastructure ties, cross-border trade, and boost private business within Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, a framework plan released yesterday identified the need for $3.3 billion in project funding over the next five years. About 46 percent has been secured so far.

ADB senior country economist Peter Brimble said the shortfall was not unusual, and that he believed it would be addressed. “There are always funding gaps in the beginning,” he said.

The Southern Economic Corridor plan was formally endorsed at the 16th Greater Mekong Subregion Ministerial meeting in Hanoi last month, which was attended by Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce, Cham Prasidh.

The cost of three large regional projects – two large power plants and a road – together account for about $1.5 billion of the $1.8 billion gap, but were suitable for private-public partnerships, according to the report.

Brimble said that raising donor money had become difficult in the post-recession world economy, but said worthy projects still received financing and income streams could diversify.

“A compelling project with an impact on reducing poverty will attract funding,” he said, and the ADB was looking beyond donors to finance future development. “The private sector will play a much greater role over the next 10 years.”

About two-thirds of the corridor’s price tag involved infrastructure , such as Cambodia’s $165-million Neak Loueng bridge and road improvements on the route from Phnom Penh to Vietnam, and $73 million for rehabilitation of the Kingdom’s railways.

Scott Lewis, chief investment officer at equity fund Leopard Capital, said yesterday that infrastructure improvements were crucial for the Kingdom’s economic development.

He welcomed increased private-sector involvement in infrastructure projects – provided firms were experienced and operated with integrity.

Poor-quality infrastructure had been laid in Cambodia in the past, he said, and pointed to the expertise provided by Australian firm Toll Holdings in revamping the Kingdom’s railway as providing “a lot more comfort”.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which