In less than three decades, China has transformed from an inward-looking agricultural-based country into a global industrial powerhouse. However, in recent years the Chinese economy has been showing early signs of a slowdown.
To boost the economy, President Xi Jinping launched the ambitious “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative in 2013, aimed at addressing the country’s overcapacity and structural weaknesses, and redirecting capital for regional infrastructure development.
Infrastructure projects in ASEAN member-states, including Cambodia and Myanmar, are emerging as a major beneficiary of the OBOR strategy, with Chinese investors accounting for 17% of all infrastructure investment across the region in 2015, according to Citibank. Due to Cambodia’s and Myanmar’s strategic locations, strong natural resource bases and, more importantly, close relations with China, the two countries will continue to attract a high proportion of China’s outbound investment, most of which is expected to be directed towards large-scale infrastructure projects.
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William Greenlee is the partner and managing director, Myanmar, and Robin Ruu Pin Teow is regional senior consultant, China desk and deputy head of corporate and commercial practice group, Cambodia, at DFDL