The Chinese government yesterday pledged 200 million yuan ($32.7 million) to Cambodia on top of what it has already provided in loans this year.
According to state-owned TVK, the offer was made during a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the 10th ASEAN-China Expo in the southern Chinese city of Nanning.
The loan agreement came nearly a month after a $100.6 million deal was inked between Cambodian Finance Minister Keat Chhon and the Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, Pan Guangxue, on August 9 in Phnom Penh.
In addition to the loans, Hun Sen and Li agreed to further boost cooperation in economic and diplomatic relations, according to TVK. During the visit, Hun Sen also held bilateral talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
In early August, Chhon said during the loan-signing ceremony that China was a significant bilateral partner that provided large loans in order to finance necessary development projects.
“The financing from China particularly has been contributing to integrate Cambodia to ASEAN and the region via the connection of telecom gateway, telecom network and electricity transmission lines,” Chhon said.
According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, China has provided a total of $2.85 billion in development aid to Cambodia between 1992 and July this year. Of the total, $235 million was grants, $163 million was non-interest loans, and the rest are concessional loans.
China is the largest foreign direct investor in Cambodia, investing $8.9 billion between 1994 and 2011. Most of the investments go into the agricultural sector, mining, infrastructure, port, hydroelectricity, telecom and garment manufacturing, according to the data from the Council for the Development of Cambodia.
Last year, bilateral trade was valued at $2.9 billion and is expected to reach $5 billion in 2017.