Cambodia has been selected to be the center of a major hydropower development. Cambodia is strategically located as its neighbours like Laos, Thailand and Vietnam are all energy-hungry and eager to tap into Cambodia’s hydropower resources. The self-appointed goal for Cambodia is to be the battery of Southeast Asia.
Half of Cambodia’s energy potential is tapped from facilities and projects along the mainstream Mekong River running through Cambodia. The purpose of the project is to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development.
China is the Cambodia’s single largest investor with Chinese state companies working in tandem with Chinese Export-Import Bank as the main players in hydropower dams. Phnom Penh has identified 14 priority projects with 6 funded and operated by Chinese companies. The 145-metre dam on the Kamchay River in Kampot province is the biggest one.
The last time both countries met at a high level visit was in end December 2008 when China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin met with Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim.
Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), attached great importance to its relations with Cambodia and intends to work with the Cambodian side to explore potentials in the fields of economy, trade, tourism culture and education and continuously push forward bilateral partnership.
Both countries also pledged to contribute to regional prosperity and development, said Jia, who arrived here Tuesday on an official goodwill visit as Chea Sim's guest.
Wearing another hat, Jia confirmed that the Communist Party of China attaches importance to its relations with the Cambodian People's Party and Funcinpec Party.
Jia was in Cambodia as part of the four-nation visit which has taken him to Jordan, Turkey and Laos.
Mette, Andrew, "News from the Mekong" dated 21 March 2008 in the News Mekong website [downloaded on 17 Feb 2009], avialable athttp://www.newsmekong.org/cambodias_dam_experiment_picks_up
Xinhua, "China, Cambodia agree to further comprehensive, cooperative partnership" dated 4 December 2008 in the Xinhuanet website [downloaded on 17 Feb 2009], available at http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-12/04/content_10455547.htm