Cambodia has signed an agreement with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on a cooperation financing agreement for a cross-border livestock health and value chain infrastructure improvement project for a total budget of $43 million.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) on September 27, the agreement was signed at the eighth annual meeting of the AIIB board of governors in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt from September 25 to 26, which was participated by Pen Thiron, ministry’s undersecretary of state, who led a delegation.

The $43 million financing, consists of a $33 million concessional loan from the AIIB and a $10 million grant from the Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Facility Trust Fund.

The total value of the cross-border livestock health project is $128.8 million, which is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and AIIB. ADB has allocated $62.9 million while the government counterpart fund is around $22.9 million.

The project is aimed at promoting quality and hygienic production and animal husbandry, strengthening animal and human health, preventing and controlling infectious diseases, and promoting cross-border animal trade among countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, including Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and China. It will be implemented in Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Oddar Meanchey, Prey Veng, Siem Reap and Takeo.

Meanwhile, MEF’s Thiron was quoted as saying that AIIB is a fairly new development partner for Cambodia and has previously provided concessional financing in 2020 under the COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility framework.

“AIIB’s co-financing has been making a significant contribution to the development of physical infrastructure and the recovery of the Cambodian economy from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will continue to play an important role as a development partner in the development of Cambodia’s infrastructure and economy in the future,” he added.

In December 23, 2020, the AIIB approved its first sovereign-backed financing to Cambodia to support the government’s recovery efforts following the pandemic’s adverse impacts on the rural population. Some 480,000 people in five provinces would benefit from the $60 million loan, primarily aimed at assisting women, children and jobless returning migrants in rural areas.

The AIIB is focused on supporting infrastructure development in the Asia-Pacific region. It was proposed by China in 2013 and launched at a ceremony in Beijing in October 2014. Cambodia, along with 49 other prospective founding members, signed the Articles of Agreement on June 29, 2015, in Beijing.