The National Assembly has approved Cambodia’s efforts to buy in as a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
In a vote Wednesday morning, the Assembly approved the initiative to join the Chinese-run development bank, which will provide loans to Asian-Pacific countries, much like the Asian Development Bank. Cambodia will purchase 623 shares in the bank for a sum of $62.3 million, a minor portion of the $100-billion bank.
Chan Sophal, an economist in Phnom Penh, told VOA Khmer the development bank will help the region’s economic growth. “The growth of the region will grow the Cambodian economy, too,” he said. However, he also warned that the Chinese-led bank could carry more risks at the moment than the more established World Bank and ADB.
In Channy, CEO for Acleda Bank, in Phnom Penh, said Cambodia’s buy-in to the AIIB will lead to more benefits in the future. “For example, the World Bank and ADB now offer loans for private sector aims,” he said. “So will the AIIB in the future.”
Son Chhay, a lawmaker for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, said Cambodia needs more than development money; it needs high-quality infrastructure and transparency in its projects. “The roads in Cambodia aren’t that good in quality,” he said. “They’re constructed and then repaired, which wastes the budget.”