Cambodia and China have signed an agreement on several development projects in the Kingdom as part of the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Special Fund 2022, with more than $4 million allocated for the work.

The agreement was signed on June 13 by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn and Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.

“This year, we have received the budget to launch three new projects. These will contribute to addressing the developmental needs in Cambodia in the fields of rural development, water resources, agriculture, capacity building, and cultural heritage,” said Sokhonn.

“Since its launch in 2016, the special fund has delivered tangible outcomes and contributed to enhancing the socio-economic development of the Mekong-Lancang countries. We have further narrowed our development gaps through integrated and interconnected development, and have strengthened our capacity to better respond to the needs of our people,” he added.

Sokhonn said Cambodia has benefited from 80 concrete projects through the MLC fund, all of which have had “tremendous” positive impacts on the lives of the people.

“Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – and other global and regional challenges – we are here today to celebrate. We are also demonstrating our resilience through this milestone, which reaffirms our belief in and commitment to development-focused multilateral cooperation,” he continued.

Sokhonn also announced that next month he will fly to Bagan, Myanmar, to attend the 7th MLC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and continue to explore ways to deliver concrete outcomes for the Mekong nations.

Sokhonn thanked Wang and his team – as well as the agencies and institutions who would implement the projects – for their support and close cooperation with the MLC National Secretariat.

He reaffirmed Cambodia’s commitment to work closely with China and all Mekong nations to grow the MLC and build an open and inclusive community, with a shared future of peace, prosperity and sustainable development.

Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, said that mutually beneficial cooperation, especially on development projects from partners, is good provided that the aid or projects are with good intentions and not aimed at putting any pressure on Cambodia.