The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has generated tremendous potential and opportunities for all participating countries to deepen their cooperation, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said in a written interview with Xinhua.
BRI, a reference to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was initiated by China in 2013 with the aim of enhancing all-around connectivity through infrastructure construction, exploring new driving force for the world economic growth, and building a new platform for world economic cooperation.
Ahead of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on April 25-27, Hun Sen said on Tuesday the BRI has provided a lot of benefits to all participating countries including Cambodia.
"The BRI has created huge potential and opportunities for expanding and enhancing regional and international cooperation," he said. "It is considered as the new engine of global economic growth."
The BRI has offered hope to young economies that are thirsty for investments, the prime minister said, adding that it also helps connect the young economies to tiger economies around the world.
Hun Sen will be among foreign leaders taking part in the second BRF, which will be held under the theme of "Belt and Road Cooperation, Shaping a Brighter Shared Future."
The second BRF will be a good platform for the leaders of all participating countries to exchange views and discuss bilateral cooperation and multilateral issues, the prime minister said.
"It will be a very important opportunity for all BRI participating countries to cooperate in partnership for peace, prosperity and sustainable development for all."
"I hope this forum will help us to continue to do what we have begun in the past in order to increase infrastructure connectivity, enhance stable development, strengthen cooperation and promote people-to-people exchange," the prime minister said.
He added that he wanted to see all leaders to use the forum to discuss and set out strategic policies and stern commitment to attaining new fruitful achievements.
"I believe that positive and optimistic view is existing and are spreading to other regions of the world, especially to Europe, and the second BRF will provide a historic testimony proving that the overwhelming majority of the nations in the world have chosen cooperation and connectivity for development process and prosperity for their peoples," Hun Sen said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said the BRI has provided enormous benefits to socio-economic development in Cambodia, giving the example of three big projects that were born of cooperation between Cambodia and China under the BRI.
Those are the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway, and the new Siem Reap international airport.
"The Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone is a testament to the fruitful cooperation between the two countries under the BRI," he said, adding that the expressway and the airport will importantly contribute to further boosting of the economy.
Besides, there have been cooperation in other fields such as institutional capacity building, knowledge sharing, and human resources development, he said.
"The Cambodian government will do its best to tap potential and benefits from the BRI to the max in order to contribute to achieving the Policy Agenda of the Cambodia's Rectangular Strategy."
Hun Sen said the BRI and the Rectangular Strategy have the same target and priority: the development of infrastructure and connectivity.
Commenting on the BRI's role in promoting connectivity within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Hun Sen said the BRI will help accelerate the development of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity in 2025 and will further promote connectivity between ASEAN and China.
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