Cambodia to ask Japan to invest $800 million in skytrain

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia will ask Japan to invest $800 million in a skytrain system for the capital Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday during a visit to Tokyo.

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Inadequate infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, has partly deterred investors in Cambodia, one of the world’s poorest countries.

Hun Sen said on Facebook the skytrain would link the capital to its international airport.

“Currently, many Japanese investors are interested in investing in Cambodia,” Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen, who is on a three-day visit to Japan, said Cambodia and Japan would also sign two other agreements following talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expected later on Monday.

Trade between Cambodia and Japan in 2016 was $1.3 billion, according to Hun Sen.

Although China dominates the investment landscape in Cambodia, Japan is an important player and is the third-largest investor in Cambodia.

Since 1992, it has also been Cambodia’s biggest donor, giving more than $2 billion in official development assistance.

Japan’s embassy in Phnom Penh did not reply to a Reuters request for comment.

Neighboring Thailand has three skytrain lines and an underground system in the capital Bangkok, a regional travel hub, with more planned.

Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Nick Macfie