Battambang, Bavet, Neak Loeung and Poipet are among several towns that will benefit from a $37 million loan from the first quarter of next year after funding was approved at the 18th Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) meeting in Nanning, China.
The loan comes from an investment project budget of at least $9 billion, after GMS, a subdivision of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), earmarked it for Cambodia’s economic development.
Peter Brimble, ADB deputy country director for Cambodia, said that although the $37 million was only “adequate to start with”, it signalled a key step for economic development in the Kingdom.
“It is an important part of a major shift in ADB lending to Cambodia to support urban development,” he said.
The concession loans from ADB will help support project activities through local contracts with consulting firms and civil work contractors, said Brimble.
By supporting economic development in Cambodia’s corridor towns, the GMS hopes migration to Phnom Penh will decrease, while creating “economic hubs” and opportunities for markets across the Kingdom.
“It will enhance the ability for corridor towns to play roles as growth poles, to generate jobs and incomes for urban and rural workers, and to link farmers into national, regional, and global value chains,” Brimble said.
ADB said in a statement the investment projects identified in the two-day conference are expected to promote economic growth in towns and cities with basic infrastructure, link them with urban centers, promote regional food safety surveillance and inspection, and promote environmental planning and conservation, while balancing economic development.