Prime Minister Hun Sen and his delegation left the Kingdom yesterday to attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing where a number of assistance agreements are expected to be signed.
Mr Hun Sen was invited to attend the second Belt and Road Forum by Chinese President Xi Jinping. He is accompanied by deputy prime minister Hor Namhong, Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn, Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, Transport Minister Sun Chanthol, Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon, Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak, Health Minister Mam Bunheng, Tourism Minister Thong Khon, and members of the Chamber of Commerce of Cambodia.
Sry Thamrong, minister attached to the Prime Minister, said at Phnom Penh International Airport that Mr Hun Sen will also receive the title of Honorary Professor of International Relations at the Beijing University.
“The honorary title was offered after seeing his great leadership in diplomatic relations, as well as for solving a political crisis in order to restore a country torn from war,” Mr Thamrong said. “All that led to national unity and development today.”
“Samdech Techo Hun Sen is always actively supporting the Belt and Road Initiative that brought development to Cambodia,” he added. “We see this through the building of hydropower dams, roads, bridges, expressways and an airport in Siem Reap. All that we have received from Belt and Road cooperation.”
Mr Thamrong said that Mr Hun Sen will today attend the forum’s opening ceremony and deliver a speech.
Mr Hun Sen and the delegation are then expected to visit the Central Bank of China in the evening and sign agreements regarding the training of human resources and a loan concession as a partner of the BRI.
Today will end with a meeting with Li Yong, director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, and representatives of Unicef.
On Saturday, Mr Hun Sen will attend the Leader’s Roundtable Session before meeting with Wang Huning, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China.
On Sunday, he will meet with Prime Minister Li Keqiang and sign “documents in order to strengthen cooperation between both countries”.
Mr Thamrong said Mr Hun Sen will then meet top Chinese business leaders who are investing in the Kingdom to propose funding for a railway company.
“He will meet with the vice chairman of Huawei, and will sign an agreement with the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication to focus on 5G technology,” he said.
Mr Thamrong added that Mr Hun Sen will meet representatives of Chinese business giant Xinqiang Goldwind Science and Technology in order to propose the creation of an industrial park to produce wind and solar-powered electricity.
“All these things are things we need because the world now needs to use clean energy from wind and the sun because this method has no effect on the environment,” he said.
Mr Thamrong noted that China Huaneng Group, a company that manages the Lower Sesan II Dam, will manage other hydropower dam projects.
Mr Hun Sen is expected to meet Mr Xi on Monday before returning to the Kingdom.
Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday said the BRI has brought many investments.
“Cambodia expects that China will continue to develop the country’s infrastructure, which will help reduce the price of goods in Cambodia, strengthen its competitiveness and enhance the economy,” Mr Phea said.
On Tuesday, Mr Hun Sen told China’s Xinhua News that the BRI has been beneficial to the Kingdom’s development.
“The BRI has created a 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.”
“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,” Mr Hun Sen added. “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 Cambodia’s Rectangular Strategy.”