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Cambodia welcomes Chinese premier's pledge of over 3 bln USD aid to GMS countries

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PHNOM PENH, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- A senior official of the Cambodian government on Saturday welcomed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's pledge of 3.09 billion U.S. dollars aid to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) member countries, saying the offer is essential for socio-economic development and poverty reduction. "China plays a very important role in assisting GMS countries to boost economy and reduce poverty,"Kao Kim Hourn, minister attached to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, told Xinhua at Phnom Penh International Airport after Hun Sen returned from Thailand where he attended the 5th GMS Summit. "China's financial support is vital to expediting the development of physical infrastructure in the GMS member countries, "he said."All countries in the GMS highly appreciate China's active contributions to the development of their respective countries."

His remarks came after Li said during the 5th GMS Summit in Bangkok earlier in the day that China would offer five neighboring countries sharing with it the Mekong River funds and production capacity aid to help better infrastructure connectivity, poverty reduction and production capacity.

The offer includes 1 billion U.S. dollars for infrastructure inter-connectivity, 490 million dollars in grant for poverty alleviation and 1.6 billion dollars in special loans for China's production capacity export.

The five beneficiary countries are Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

Kao Kim Hourn also noted that the Silk Road Fund with China's 40 billion U.S. dollars contribution and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with a funding of 100 billion U.S. dollars would be an important source of capital for the development of infrastructure in the region and the GMS countries.

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