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Belt and Road Initiative vital to boost ASEAN's connectivity: Cambodian official

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-16 09:59

PHNOM PENH - The Belt and Road Initiative is playing a key role in boosting the connectivity among member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its connection with its neighbors, especially China, a Cambodian government official said Wednesday.

The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of building a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

To support the initiative, China has established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund to provide finance to infrastructure projects.

"The Belt and Road Initiative is providing a lot of advantages to ASEAN," Kao Kim Hourn, a minister attached to Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, said in a press conference in Phnom Penh.

The minister said the initiative importantly contributed to the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, which is ASEAN's priority task.

"The initiative not only helps connect intra-ASEAN, but also links ASEAN to its neighboring countries, especially China," Kim Hourn said.

Commenting on ASEAN-China relations, the official said China is ASEAN's key partner and has actively supported ASEAN in its integration process, community building, and connectivity infrastructure development.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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