Phnom Penh Post, 15th February reported that just days after the government signed off on a new strategy aimed at limiting the level of publish debte, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that the Cambodian Government would apply to the Export-Import Bank of China for $500 million in additional loans for seven new infrastructure projects.
The announcement comes just weeks after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the world bank raised concerns over the speed at which the government was racking up new debt. Mr. Hun Sen’s announcement also follows Cambodia’s decision last month to sign off on a separate $302 million worth of loan financing from the same Chinese bank for infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges.
“Cambodia has submitted a proposal for seven projects with the cost of $500 million,” said Mr. Hun Sen during a speech at a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of National Road 6 to Banteay Meanchey province, which is being finance with $70 million in Chinese loans.
Mr. Hun Sen did not specify what projects the money would finance if granted.
Two-thirds of Cambodia’s total estimated debt of $3.3 billion is already from China.