Cambodia and China are looking at establishing a “Fish and Rice Corridor” in northwestern Cambodia, particularly in the Tonle Sap Lake area, to develop modern ecological agriculture near Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake by surface area.

This is according to a Cambodia-China joint statement on building a community of common destiny in a new era, released by Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP).

“This would constitute an acceleration of Cambodia's modern agricultural development planning, and an examination into the possibility of digital agricultural cooperation and support for aquaculture, tropical plantations and other Cambodian sectors with potential,” the statement read.

It also incorporates Customs and quarantine control cooperation and the promotion of: high-quality Cambodian agricultural exports, negotiations on the “ASEAN-China Free Trade Area's 3.0 version”, and “one-window” interconnectivity to boost bilateral trade and the utilisation of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) benefits.

The corridor also serves as a mechanism for bilateral digital economic cooperation to increase the competitiveness and popularity of Cambodian products on the Chinese market, and to inspire the general public to pitch in to enhance practical agricultural, trade and economic cooperation.

China supports Cambodia in its initial work on a number of rail-related initiatives aimed at providing benefits for residents of areas along the proposed routes, as both countries look to integrating the Kingdom’s railway network into those of China, Laos and Thailand, the statement said.

The two countries have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Cambodia-China Development Cooperation Plan 2023-2025 designed to step up construction of roads, bridges, reservoirs, wastewater treatment plants and submarine fibre optic cables, as well as covering projects related to rural roads, water supplies, schools and healthcare.