The Cambodian National Assembly yesterday passed a law ratifiying its membership to the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which will enable it to access funds to develop the country’s lagging infrastructure.
The law, which was passed by 93 votes, will see the Kingdom invest $62.3 million to acquire 623 shares in the new $100-billion development bank, according to the National Assembly’s website.
Cambodia’s contribution, in the first phase, will be $12.4 million, with the rest of the money expected to be given in stages over the next 10 years.
Son Chhay, chief whip of the opposition CNRP, said there would be transparency in the loans taken from the AIIB, as compared to the bilateral loans the government was currently taking from China.
“The bank will enable us to borrow money and use it in a more transparent manner, which will be better than bilateral loans,” Chhay said.
The China-led bank will look to bankroll the region’s massive infrastructure needs, which the Asian Development Bank estimates will need approximately $750 billion between 2010 and 2020.
Asian developing economies, including Cambodia, have welcomed the creation of the AIIB, considered a major geopolitical move by China.
The United States was the only major developed economy to opt out of joining as a founding member.