BRI and development in Cambodia

Proper governance of the BRI projects would help minimize risks and significantly contribute to the sustainable development of Cambodia, writes Keo Piseth.

Cambodia is one of the key beneficiaries of the Belt and Road Initiative for International Cooperation (BRI). Participating in the BRI has proved to be beneficial for Cambodia in terms of increasing Chinese foreign direct investment and tourists and the continuous growth of the industrial, service, agriculture, and construction sectors. Also infrastructure development has been bolstered with the building of roads, hydropower dams, bridges, hospitals and schools that the country is urgently in need of.

While the BRI has positively contributed to Cambodia’s economic development and poverty alleviation, there is no doubt that negative aspects related to the initiative are also emerging. Problems related to development are not unique to Cambodia, but also in Southeast Asia and in countries along the BRI corridors. The magnitude of the impacts vary depending on the regulations and law enforcement in each country.

Dr Keo Piseth is director of Center for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS), Asian Vision Institute (AVI).

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