Tokyo, Japan (FN), May 30 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced Thursday that Cambodia will not fall into China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) debt trap, speaking in the interview with Nikkei Asia Review after addressing at the 25th International Conference on "Asia's Future" in Tokyo on 30 May 2019.

In response to the question: “Will Cambodia fall into China’s BRI debt trap,” the Premier stated that as a sovereign nation, we have the right to make whatever choices we want and receive the loans if necessary.

“Some countries owe debts up to 200%, to 300%, or 500% of their GDP, which is not solely to China but to other countries. The Kingdom will never let herself drown in such debt,” he stated.

“Cambodia will not fall into the debt trap for three reasons: (1) it is the sole decision of Cambodia to borrow, not coerced by China; (2) Cambodia borrows in the concessional loan and long-term rates; and (3) Cambodia is highly cautious; we are sure that the debt rate will not be higher than GDP,” Prime Minister underlined.

Cambodia borrows in concessional loan rate not only from China, but also Japan, and other financial institutions, the Premier elaborated.

“Our foreign debt is just 21.5 percent among the 40% ratio,” Prime Minister underlined.

According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Cambodia’s external debt are around USD 7 billion by the end of 2018.