Synergy between BRI, Cambodia's Pentagonal Strategy to inject fresh vitality into community with shared future

(Xinhua) 10:17, December 20, 2023

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- A synergy between China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Cambodia's Pentagonal Strategy will provide fresh momentum into the community with a shared future between the two countries, a senior Cambodian senator and experts said on Tuesday.

The BRI, initiated by China in 2013, is aimed at building trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa and beyond, while the Pentagonal Strategy, launched in August this year, focuses on human capital development, economic diversification, increased competitiveness, private sector and employment growth, sustainability and digital development.

Speaking at the launch event of Chinese-aided rural livelihood improvement projects in Cambodia, Tep Ngorn, second vice-president of the Senate of Cambodia, said a decade-old BRI has delivered tremendous benefits to Cambodia's socio-economic development, connectivity infrastructure development, and poverty reduction.

"Promoting a synergy between China's BRI and Cambodia's Pentagonal Strategy will give a boost to the building of a China-Cambodia community with a shared future with strategic significance, mutual benefits and win-win results," he said.

Ngorn added that the "Diamond Hexagon" cooperation framework, which is focused on six priority areas: political cooperation, production capacity and quality, agriculture, energy, security and people-to-people exchanges, is also essential to boost Cambodia's development.

The senior senator also highlighted excellent relations and close cooperation between the two countries, saying that the bilateral ties are rock-solid and unbreakable.

His remarks came after Cambodia and China agreed in September to deepen a strategic synergy between the BRI and the Pentagonal Strategy, aiming at achieving high-quality and sustainable common development.

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia, a think-tank under the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said a synergy between the BRI and the Pentagonal Strategy will further deepen the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership that both countries forged in 2010.

"Cambodia stands to gain a lot of economic benefits from the strategic alignment of the Pentagonal Strategy with the BRI," he told Xinhua. "The combination of the two strategies will speed up Cambodia's development of connectivity infrastructure, logistics, industries, digital technology, energy and agriculture, among others."

Phea said it will also give a full play to the collaboration between the countries in boosting investment and production capacity to transform the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk into a model multi-purpose special economic zone.

"The synergy between the two strategies will help Cambodia accelerate its development towards its ambitious goals of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050," he said.

Thong Mengdavid, a research supervisor at the Asian Vision Institute, a Phnom Penh-based independent think tank, said the synergy will produce a win-win outcome for both countries and peoples in the long term.

"The BRI has promoted connectivity and cooperation in all sectors including physical infrastructure, economy, investment, and financial sector, as well as people-to-people relations, and it is becoming a new locomotive of global growth," he told Xinhua. "The synergy between the BRI and the Pentagonal Strategy will bring further development to Cambodia."

Mengdavid said the Chinese mega-projects under the BRI such as hydropower plants, the Sihanoukville Special Economy Zone, the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, and the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport have greatly boosted inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development and poverty alleviation in Cambodia.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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