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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                    21  September 2011

China firm builds Cambodia

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Shanghai Construction Group has announced it will complete US$700 million in projects in Cambodia over the next five years, highlighting China’s dominant and still-growing presence in Cambodia.

The company presently oversees nine bridge and road construction projects in Cambodia, according to government relations officer in Cambodia Yang Shali.

Shanghai Construction Group, which built the 492-metre Shanghai World Financial Center and Beijing’s National Grand Theatre, will begin work on the Tonle Bassac Bridge next month, a nearly $18-million endeavor that will connect National Roads 1 and 2, she said.

Chinese companies have filled a void in Cambodia’s transportation works with $550 million in ports, highways and bridges built to date, Yang claimed.

“If [Shanghai Construction] and other Chinese companies hadn’t undertaken these road and bridge projects, Cambodia’s economic development would be much slower,” she said.

“Before Chinese companies came in, it could take seven to eight hours to get from one province to the next. We’re saving lots of time.”

Shanghai Construction will need at least five years to complete current projects but could continue building in Cambodia for much longer, Yang said, adding the company’s projects are built on long-term, low-interest loans from the Chinese government.

China became the biggest source of foreign direct investment in Cambodia in July, pumping some $1.13 billion dollars into the Kingdom during the first seven months of the year, according to Council for the Development of Cambodia statistics. That figure represented a year-on-year increase of 83 percent.

According to a recent announcement on the government of Shanghai’s website, Shanghai Construction began work on Cambodia’s National Road 7 in 2004.

Also, it has laid more than 870 kilometres of road in the country and built the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port. Construction on National Road 6A is also under way, according to the statement.



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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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