Xi’s visit inks 17 construction industry agreements

Xi’s visit inks 17 construction industry agreements

Among the 31 agreements and MoUs signed between the Cambodian government and China during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Cambodia in October, 17 agreements related to construction sector projects; the sector that has been in great need of foreign aid.

Signed by senior officials from both nations and witnessed by the two heads of states on 14 October at the Cambodian Prime Minister’s Office (Peace Palace), the 17 pacts are a mix of loan deals and MoUs for various projects related to infrastructure, connectivity, irrigation and energy. The agreements signed are at three different levels; government-to-government, government-to-private sector and private sector-to-private sector.

Those agreements are:

Government-to-Government

1.    MOU on formulating the outline of a bilateral cooperation plan to jointly build the Silk Road economic belt and the 21st century maritime Silk Road.

2.    Agreement on economic and technical cooperation on provision of grant aid to the amount of 1,200 million Yuan to implement the Cambodia-China Friendship Medical Building, the Tbong Kmom Provincial Hospital, and the Institute of Water Resources.

3.    Exchange of note on the China-Cambodia Friendship Medical Building project.

4.    Framework agreement for a concessional loan for the Vaico Irrigation Development Project (Phase II).

5.    Agreement on economic and technical cooperation on provision of an interest-free loan to implement the Vaico Irrigation Development (Phase II).

6.    Framework agreement for a concessional loan for the construction of the National road No. 51 project.

7.    Agreement on economic and technical cooperation on provision of an interest-free loan to implement construction of the National Road No.51 project.

8.    Framework agreement for a concessional loan for the West Section of the Ring Road of Phnom Penh project.

Government-to-Private Sector

9.    Concession agreement for development of Siem Reap Angkor International Airport.

10.    Loan agreement for the Vaico Irrigation Development project (Phase II).

11.    Loan agreement for the construction of the National Road No. 51 project.

12.    Loan agreement for construction of the West Section of Second Ring Road of Phnom Penh project.

13.    Loan agreement for rural grid extension project (Phase V and Phase VI).

14.    Civil works contract for the construction of the National Road (NR) No.11 (Neakloeung-NR1) – Thnal Totoeng (NR7) project.

15.    Commercial contract for transmission line 230kv Phase II (Loop transmission line in eastern part of Cambodian National Grid-Part I).

Private Sector-to-Private sector

16.    MOU on investment and development of the national power grid.

17.    Protocol agreement on 450mw Thermal Power Generation Project in Sihanoukville, Cambodia on a Build-Own-Operate basis.

President Xi\'s visit will contribute further to promoting Cambodia-China cooperation in areas of infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, education, trade and investment, Chheang Vannarith, chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies, was cited by Xinhua as saying.

President Xi also pledged to urge Chinese investment in building a high-speed railway in Cambodia and an airport in Siem Reap province.

It should be noted that on his first trip since becoming China’s top leader in March 2013 – he visited as vice president in 2009 – Xi also oversaw the signing of 31 agreements, including USD238 million in soft loans, USD89 million in debt forgiveness and USD15 million in military aid.

According to Reuters, China has distributed about USD15 billion in loans to Cambodia in the past two decades. It has already pledged USD600 million this year.

Chinese investment in Cambodia was valued at USD864 million last year and a total of USD9.1 billion has been pledged since 1994, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said recently that the bilateral trade between the two countries was expected to reach USD5 billion next year, up from USD4 billion in 2015.

China is now Cambodia\'s largest trading partner and source of foreign investment with bilateral collaboration expanding in many areas, including trade, investment, connectivity, energy resources and infrastructure.

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