Roundup: Building 2 economic corridors with China crucial to enhance Cambodia's development capacity: experts

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PHNOM PENH, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Establishing "Industrial Development Corridor" and "Fish and Rice Corridor" with China is essential to enhance Cambodia's capacity for independent development, contributing to boosting the kingdom's socioeconomic development at a faster pace, experts said on Tuesday.

Cambodia and China are set to establish an "Industrial Development Corridor" to support the conversion of coastal Sihanoukville into a model multipurpose special economic zone, and a "Fish and Rice Corridor" to develop modern ecological agriculture near the Tonle Sap Lake.

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia, a think-tank under the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone and the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway are key infrastructure to back the establishment of the "Industrial Development Corridor" in Sihanoukville.

He said to achieve this vision, Cambodia needs more investment from China, especially in transportation facilities, power grids, fiber optics networks, and warehousing and logistics.

For the "Fish and Rice Corridor" centered on northwestern Cambodia and the Tonle Sap Lake area, Phea said it will develop modern ecological agriculture and farmers will greatly benefit from it.

"The Industrial Development Corridor is essential to turn Cambodia into an industrial hub, while the Fish and Rice Corridor is crucial to transform the kingdom into a modern agricultural center, with high-quality products," he told Xinhua.

"These two corridors will give a big boost to Cambodia's economic development and poverty reduction through creating jobs for workers and farmers," he added.

Phea said that invigorated by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement and the China-Cambodia Free Trade Agreement, the two corridors will play a crucial role in boosting Cambodia's economic and export growth and improving the livelihoods of the Cambodian people.

"The establishment of these corridors flawlessly reflects the timely and actual needs of Cambodia in its journey to graduate from least developed country status by 2027 and to become an upper-middle income country in 2030 and a high-income country by 2050," he said.

Thong Mengdavid, a research supervisor at the Phnom Penh-based Asian Vision Institute, said the two corridor projects will secure the country's long-term sustainable development of industries, agriculture, and food security.

"The Industrial Development Corridor will stimulate industrial development, attract new investments, boost manufacturing production, and facilitate Cambodia's export to China and world markets," he told Xinhua.

"The Fish and Rice Corridor will help Cambodia accelerate its agricultural modernization, boost high-quality agricultural production and increase incomes for local farmers," he added.

Mengdavid believes that the two economic corridors will contribute further to deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation and the ironclad friendship of the two countries towards building a high-quality, high-level and high-standard Cambodia-China community of a shared future in the new era. Enditem

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